In a new smart ad campaign, the AMC channel is fighting back with zombies to protest Dish Network's removal not only of its channel, but of one of its best prime time shows.
The new campaign called 'Put Zombies Back on TV,' was created by AMC to urge satellite provider Dish Network to resume carrying the AMC channel and their hit show, The Walking Dead.
Dish Network announced on May 4, 2012, that it would no longer carry the AMC Networks family of cable channels after the expiration of the satellite provider's distribution agreement with the company at the end of June 2012. Since then, the satellite provider has blacked out all AMC channels, directly threatening the upcoming third season of their top zombie show which begins Oct. 14.
Dish Network claimed that AMC Networks charged an excessive amount in retransmission consent payments from the service for their carriage and low audience viewership for the channels. But AMC says they have just received the most Emmy nominations of any basic cable channel, 34 nominations all told and that "DISH is using their consumers as pawns to attempt to gain leverage in a lawsuit involving an old and unrelated business venture that has nothing to do with AMC," nor their shows or fees.
Recently, 20 million viewers with rival satellite provider Direc TV lost MTV, Nickelodeon and other channels after a negotiation impasse occurred with Viacom over fees. They were restored after nine days of intense negotiation.
But AMC has no plans to stand by idly, and has launched its 'Put Zombies Back on TV' campaign. "Could zombies live among us?" they asked. "We transformed a few New Yorkers to find out."
The video that accompanies the protest message is almost certain to go viral, possibly what AMC is hoping for to ratchet up the pressure. Using the best in special-effects makeup to transform actors into realistic zombie characters, the walking dead are then turned loose in New York City. What follows is a plethora of mixed reactions, ranging from outright fear to simple disbelief.
In my book, anything that garners a response from purpose-filled and determined New Yorkers who must have seen it all by now, is well worth watching.
To learn more about AMC's zombie campaign, go to KeepAMCNetworks/PutZombiesBack.