Hailing the show’s mid-season premiere, The Walking Dead wine—coming to liquor stores in February—brings labels that animate when viewed through a mobile app.
This continues the trend of AR and VR marketing for the popular zombie apocalypse franchise: During last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, the brand partnered with Mountain Dew for The Walking Dead Encounter, where users pose or act out scenes with AR walkers. And ahead of the Season 8 premiere, AMC released a free VR app that simulates what it would be like to live as a walker or be eaten by one.
Although this latest pairing of AR and wines doesn’t appear to be a direct TV show promotion, any association wouldn’t hurt. Season 8, episode 8 experienced the lowest mid-season finale ratings in the history of the show.
In an attempt to put the zombie apocalypse drama back on track for its coming season, AMC has changed showrunners. And as favorite characters often get killed on The Walking Dead, fans may also appreciate a bit of promotion—and consolation—of the alcoholic variety.
The wine itself is a partnership between Skybound Entertainment and The Last Wine Company and comes in two types—Blood Red Blend and Cabernet Sauvignon. Each is sealed with a collectible cork featuring on-brand images, like barbed wire, a walker’s head or a walker’s hand.
And as this promotion comes not from the AMC, but Skybound Entertainment—the company that launched The Walking Dead comic book—the AR labels are drawn in the style of Robert Kirkman’s comics: “Blood Red Blend” features an image of the franchise’s main character, Sheriff Rick Grimes, surrounded by “walkers,” i.e. zombies. And when the label is viewed through the Living Wine Labels app, Rick fights the undead.
This isn’t the first time Rick Grimes has been featured on a wine label. Last fall, AMC and wine brand Lot18 released a limited-edition The Walking Dead wine collection inspired by three of the show’s most popular characters—Rick Grimes, Daryl Dixon and Negan. Each of the custom blends were intended to mirror the characters’ individual personalities.
TV marketers seem to enjoy pairing wine with shows. Themed wines have previously been released to promote Game of Thrones, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Downton Abbey.