TVNZ has made its first foray into using the dating app Tinder as a marketing tool, but it was with a dark twist befitting a promo for zombie horror show The Walking Dead.
The location-based app lets stalkers - er, the love lorn - find potential dates in their area, with users swiping left or right to choose those they like and dislike.
TVNZ worked with in house creatives at Blacksand and digital agency Young and Shand, which swiped in about 500 guys on the hunt for a hottie. Those hotties were Young and Shand staff members, made up and photographed in various stages from hot to rotting decay.
The guys were then served up the photos until the conversation revealed the full zombie photos.
"One of the things we were really excited about was we didn't really get anything negative," says TV2 marketing manager Chris Hooper. "Only about three [of the conversations] were negative and all the others ended in a really funny way with people making funny quips back or saying they loved The Walking Dead."
The overall campaign for The Walking Dead appealed to a broad 18-49 age group, but the Tinder promo and a Facebook game was pitched at a niche audience that skewed towards males aged 18-29, says Hooper. "We wanted to do some stuff that really brought that [zombie] genre to life," he says.
The Facebook game let people tag their friends as certain character types, like "first to die" or "hipster who's more likely to be Instagramming the apocalypse than doing anything useful", says Hooper. The team with the most points won $1000 and a box of survival gear and supplies.
TVNZ then used remarketing to serve ads to those who had signed up, in the guise of zombies stalking those people around the internet.