Wildlife concepted and executed a viral ARG campaign for Scopely and Robert Kirkman's latest release, The Walking Dead: Road To Survival mobile game. The multi-platform mystery began when fans, celebs and influencers begin receiving creepy, blood splattered packages on their doorsteps. The packages were addressed by hand and individually written in ink. On the outside was the seal of the town of Woodbury - an iconic location in the Walking Dead universe and fans' first clue to the origin of these mysterious packages.
Those who were brave enough to open the brown envelopes wrapped in twine found a collection of bizarre items: an old key, a shell casing, a lock of hair tied with blue ribbon, a Polaroid photo and a cryptic message scrawled on Woodbury stationery. Fans quickly recognized the importance of the items - the infamous villain, The Governor, kept his daughter Penny hidden behind lock and key after she turned into a zombie, her hair still tied in pigtails with blue satin bows.
One by one, recipients of the strange packages began posting photos of the contents online and a community sprang up around these "Packages From Woodbury." Each of the Polaroid images was unique and many of them contained pieces of a message on the back, written in blood. Fans began working together to piece together the clues from the backs of the photos to decipher their meaning. Speculation and excitement grew over the first few days before the message was discovered #WoodburyIsWaiting - this led fans to a cryptic hashtag and Instagram account and the next phase of the campaign.
Turning the Instagram platform on its head, Wildlife created a Choose Your Own Adventure game through a network of hundreds of linked accounts. Fans who made the correct choices discovered a secret phone number with daily calls from a National Emergency hotline. Wildlife leveraged advanced phone technology so that soon, the phone number started calling fans back -- treating them to interactive calls from the iconic Walking Dead character, Lori Grimes.
The campaign continued to evolve through daily Instagram images, videos and an ever-changing map of the world breaking down under the zombie apocalypse. Word spread throughout the Walking Dead fan community as followers of the Instagram account and calls to the Georgia-located phone number spiked. Fans began to trade theories and transcripts of the phone calls as they tried to access our phone system's elaborate touch-tone options and requests for "user IDs." A countdown using imagery from the Walking Dead comics themselves intertwined with the daily phone calls and evolving map of the outbreak before a massive reveal of the mobile game to the surprise of the fans.
The #WoodburyIsWaiting hashtag generated over 25 million impressions, our phone number was called more than 150,000 times and most importantly, the mobile game hit #1 on the App Store within 24 hours.