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November 04, 2010

Toyota kills with zombie Corolla ad on AMC's 'The Walking Dead'

By T.L. Stanley on Thu Nov 4 2010

If you had a choice, wouldn't you pick a Humvee or a tank as your getaway vehicle in case of a zombie apocalypse? Apparently, a Toyota Corolla will do the trick, too, if you believe a commercial that aired during Sunday night's launch of the spine-chilling AMC series The Walking Dead. The undead-themed spot, set up like a movie scene with a couple watching a zombie attack safely from the multiplex, is the latest to pick up the thread of the show it's airing in. AMC has some experience with this, having done it all season with '60s-style Unilever ads during Mad Men. (Some viewers liked them, some didn't. I found them to be fairly cheeseball.) The cable network, on a roll with its original programming, is obviously able to draw in marketers who want a piece of that high-quality action and are willing to fashion their campaigns to fit the environment. I'm not sure I'm sold on a Corolla as a zombie shield, but the spot was so unexpected, I stopped fast-forwarding through the ad break to watch it. The 90-minute Walking Dead premiere, by the way, pulled in a monster rating with 5.3 million viewers, the highest for any series in AMC's history and better than nearly every non-sports program that aired on Sunday night, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed. That's a lot of eyeballs on a contextually relevant Corolla ad. Creepy and clever!

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