Using the Un-Dead to Save the Living: Driving Dead Series Hits Its Target

It was a little more than a year ago that I wrote about an innovative transportation safety awareness campaign, the Driving Dead Series, that was being launched by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Photo Courtesy The Walking Dead Series Facebook page.
Photo Courtesy The Walking Dead Series Facebook page.

It seemed strange to feature zombies in a safety campaign, but with literally millions of views in the last year, the people behind the campaign must have known what they were doing.

The campaign targets young men who tend to tune out traditional safety messaging and who also tend to be responsible for more risky behaviors such as driving aggressively or without seat belts.

Last month the campaigned published its fourth installment of the Driving Dead story (see below), which features actor Michael Rooker who starred in the Walking Dead TV series. In just a few weeks, this fourth episode has garnered more than 585,000 views. In all, the four webisodes have been viewed more than 3 million times.

Beyond the YouTube videos, the campaign enjoys more than 14,300 Facebook likes and carries a modest 715 Twitter followers. There is even a small Instagram feed supporting the campaign.

If you missed the zombies last year, it’s time to take another look. The key is not so much the zombies, but rather they intense attention to the target audience – in this case young men – that resulted in a campaign solely focused on reaching that audience in a relevant way.

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Author: Lloyd Brown

I am the director of communications for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. I enjoy running marathons and triathlons, playing guitar and spending time with family. My professional interest is in how social media and new technology shapes the communication relationship between government and the general public. I have a Master’s degree in Communications and Leadership from Gonzaga University in Spokane and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Washington State University.

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