The Walking Dead Companion App

We created a watermarked companion app to deepen audience engagement and build buzz for The Walking Dead's second season on UK channel FX.

The Challenge

The first season of The Walking Dead was a huge hit and Season Two was gearing up to be even bigger, with numerous active fans online. US drama release patterns mean a large break in between seasons. As a result, FX needed to ensure their marketing not only created a big fanfare leading up to TX but ensured a sustained level of interest in the show, reigniting excitement for its return.

THE SOLUTION

With more than three-quarters of UK viewers now using other devices while watching TV (YouGov poll Oct 2011), it was clear that ‘dual screening’ could be a strong tool in a broadcaster’s weaponry.

Making dual-screening work for a narrative driven, immersive drama was the key to solving the problem: audiences are using other devices, but the main screen experience is what makes the genre so successful.

We created a ‘companion app’: an application that synchs with the show to deepen engagement and to gather all of the online conversations in one place, full of everything any Zombie lover could ever want.

We created a UK first by using audio-watermarking in the app: technology that meant Zombie kills can be tracked to the second with the main -screen experience, whether it’s live, paused or in catch-up. The technical wizardry behind this made use of nearly every department within Red Bee – from playout and watermarking experts, to mobile developers, creatives, and designers.

THE RESULT

The companion app is available for iPad and iPhone, and the initial response has been overwhelming:

  • Made the Top Ten List in the iTunes App Store during the first week
  • 62,000 downloads in the first 60 days
  • 300,000 gameplays in the first 60 days
  • 37.8% uplift in viewers
  • 65.3% jump in audience share
  • Download the app here