Fans will have to wait until October 22 for Season Eight of The Walking Dead, but they can hang out with walkers (zombies) right now thanks to a partnership between AMC and Mountain Dew.
The Walking Dead Encounter—an augmented reality app created by Trigger and showcased at San Diego Comic-Con—is now available for download on iOS and Android mobile devices. Users can collect and overlay up to 20 “iconic walkers” from the show onto real-life camera images or videos. Scenes can then be shared on Facebook, Messenger, Twitter and other social media outlets.
AMC’s partnership with Mountain Dew lets users unlock new walkers by scanning specially-marked Mountain Dew products and by tuning in to commercials that air during new episodes of The Walking Dead. The companies created three different spots—featuring basketball, skateboarding and BMX—which will air throughout the first half of The Walking Dead’s season.
Portraits of popular The Walking Dead characters Rick Grimes, Michonne and Daryl Dixon will be featured on all single serve 20- and 12-ounce bottles of Mountain Dew. In addition, the characters will be printed on 12-pack outer cases of Mountain Dew, Diet Mountain Dew and Mountain Dew Pitch Black packaging.
— The Walking Dead AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) September 6, 2017
“This is a meaningful first-of-its-kind partnership for The Walking Dead, but most exciting of all is that the fans are at the center of it,” Scott Collins, president of advertising sales for AMC Networks said in a press release. “With our partners at Mountain Dew, we’ve built something that includes extensive visibility for our series, closely aligned with their product, and the augmented reality app merges the real world, the world of the show and a popular beverage in an incredibly powerful and shareable way.”
With The Walking Dead Encounter, users can collect and pose with, but otherwise not interact with, walkers they find. An upcoming AR game, The Walking Dead: Our World by NextGames will allow users to actually fight walkers alongside other players, as well as characters from the show.
Mountain Dew has a long history of partnering with video game and film brands for package marketing, but bringing AR into the mix changes up the usual formula. “We’re bringing together two of the most passionate fan bases in the country,” Chauncey Hamlett, senior director of marketing for Mountain Dew said in a statement.
The Walking Dead‘s Season Eight premiere will be the 100th episode in the series. The series has been the number one show on television for the last five years running among viewers 18-49 and has no shortage of video game tie-ins, from mobile strategy titles to episodic adventures from Telltale Games.
Skybound Entertainment, the entertainment company founded by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, isn’t shy when it comes to adopting new technology for marketing.
“One of the things that we look at is, ‘how do we use the medium for its full benefit?’” David Alpert, CEO of Skybound Entertainment and executive producer of The Walking Dead told AListDaily. “And the thing that VR does is it gives us a sense of presence in a way that you don’t really feel in film and television.”
Editor’s note: Skybound Entertainment is separate from AMC’s partnership with Mountain Dew.