Zombies Virally Advertised My Neighbors

So I’m going to throw my thoughts on that trailer into the pot. If you’ve been living under a rock for about two days, I am of course talking about the ‘Dead Island’ reveal trailer. First comes a warning. This trailer contains zombies. It’s very violent, and some viewers have found it quite hard to watch.

If that was the first you’ve seen the trailer, then I’d love to know what you thought about it! First thing is first. I’m going to try and tip-toe around the use of a child in the trailer and the outcry surrounding that, mainly because a fellow blogger summed it up in a much better way than I ever could. You can read pelekophoros’ entry about the trailer here! What I am going to try and talk about, is the absolutely unwavering success of this advertising campaign.

Here we have a game. A game that was announced three years ago. A game that everyone had forgotten about. If you were the developer or the publisher, you’d want something done about that quick sharp. Especially if the release date was later on in the year. How on earth do you get your name back into and remembered, in the over crowded, over saturated video games market? You can go down the video games website route. You can re-announce yourself in an exclusive magazine reveal. You can create a trailer and get it shown. Heck, you can do loads of things. I can guarantee that the publishers (Deep Silver) and developer (Techland) never thought they were going to get this much attention!

The trailer itself, is rather good. It’s ’emotional’ to a point, as we are obviously conditioned to feel uneasy and upset when we see a child in danger. It’s part of what makes us human. What we are seeing is a family’s vacation gone wrong. We are presented with the moral problems of the family involved. I mean, could you bring yourself to kill your own child if they tried to attack you? Me neither. Any way, I’m doing exactly what I said I wouldn’t. The trailer it self is very well made. It’s shot and edited brilliantly, and works to create something quite moving, while at the same time, incredibly graphic.

It’s obviously been edited to hold back on certain parts of the narrative until later in the trailer, which we can see in the cut/copy time line through out. I can’t really describe the media too well, as it’s been a long time since I’ve had to, but it definitely works. It tells a story, albeit a broken one, and it tells it in an uncommon way. It’s quite similar to Memento, as if the trailer was linear (just as if Memento was linear), it really wouldn’t work that well, or have the overall effect it has;

The trailer has spread like wildfire since it’s original showing and has been discussed left right and centre. Now this could be because the imagery we see is incredibly powerful, or that people have passed it on because they’ve been disgusted at what they see. Either way, people are talking about it!

Let’s emphasise a few key points. People are talking, both good and bad, about a three year old game, that we have absolutely no information on. (Well, when it aired we had none, and now we have a tiny tiny bit of information. It’s an FPS, Open World, Survivalist RPG with Zombies) That’s incredible. This will have shot Dead Island to the top of some most watched lists for sure, and the greatest thing? Not one bit of actual game play was shown. A trailer for a video game, that displayed absolutely no hints of video game play at all. Wow.

The folks over at Axis Animation have definitely delivered with this little clip. This trailer works a reveal, and nothing else, but the game’s name has spread. Thanks to this little media trailer, Dead Island is a game on everyone’s lips at the moment. Will the chatter continue as we continue into the rest of the year? Probably not, but that doesn’t stop the name being remembered for this brilliant bit of media.

Dead Island has gone viral. Just like the zombie infection it’s protagonists are to battle against. Funny. Right?

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2 thoughts on “Zombies Virally Advertised My Neighbors

  1. Ed Tang says:

    It gives you that ‘ah-shit! Shit, shit, SHIT zombies, they’re going to get me feeling’ You feel that fear in slow-motion, like when you first saw the peeps getting chased in 28dayslater, surprising for a computer graphics trailer; very engaging. And you care about how it starts rather than how it’s all going to end, which is rare – you can’t take your eyes off it.

    As for the people who kick off about the depiction of the girl’s murder/… screw them. It’s an 18 rated game..for adult children types. Obviously under 18’s will play this/see it. But it’s content is clearly labelled etc so then responsibility for it being watched/played is now the parents.. As with any 18 rated film. I don’t think it should be banned, it’s like a freedom of speech issue no?

  2. […] your product before it’s release?’. You can release an awesome trailer if you go down Dead Island’s route, or you can approach the situation like you’ve got the biggest balls in the big boys […]

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