Experts say that word-of-mouth advertising is the most effective way to build positive buzz for retail products, and that apparently is the case even when those words come from the mouths of the undead. A case in point: Hyundai's Walking Dead Chop Shop interactive website, which recently earned praise from the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) as the "most innovative social media campaign of 2013."
(FYI: WOMMA bills itself as the official trade association dedicated to word of mouth and social media marketing.”)
Still up and running at www.WalkingDeadChopShop.com, the site allows users to configure some of their favorite Hyundai vehicles—including the 2014 Hyundai Elantra, Veloster Turbo or Santa Fe—as full-on zombie-survival machines complete with armor, weaponry, survival gear, and custom graphics and body mods. And as evidence of just how engaging the site is, Hyundai reports that some 190,000 vehicles have gone through the zombie-preparation process.
“Our judges were blown away by the creativity, originality, and execution of Hyundai's Walking Dead Chop Shop. It allowed for maximum fan participation online, and it was a great experiential marketing element at Comic Con and other events,” said Suzanne Fanning, president of WOMMA. “By continuing to engage fans with fun, effective marketing tactics like this, Hyundai will not only survive the Zombie apocalypse, they will definitely thrive in the industry.”
Added David Matathia, director of Marketing Communications for Hyundai Motor America: “We are honored and truly thrilled that The Walking Dead Chop Shop campaign has been recognized by WOMMA. With help from the popularity of The Walking Dead franchise, Hyundai continues to expand the conversation around Hyundai vehicles with young and passionate audiences.”
Hyundai also happens to be expanding that conversation right into dealerships, where drivers can expect to see the launch of a special 2014 Hyundai Tucson Walking Dead Edition some time this summer.
Offered solely in all-wheel-drive for maximum traction when trying to outrun the walkers, the vehicle will showcase an Ash Black exterior finish with red graphics, a black-leather cabin, roof-rack rails, custom floor/cargo mats, and an exclusive Walking Dead backpack to help when foraging for food and supplies.
More information about the Walking Dead Tucson, including its MSRP, will be revealed closer to its on-sale date.