Leo Burnett Hungry for Brains in Extended Brooks Running Spot

By Erik Oster 

Leo Burnett launched a zombie-themed spot for Brooks Running, punnily titled “The Rundead.”

The spot opens on a man running from a group of zombies into a shoe stores. One of them is distracted from his pursuit by a Brooks Running shoe and soon the entire group is tearing down a wall full of them and lacing up. Putting on the running shoes has a profound effect on the undead, who seem to lose their taste for human flesh and engage in a series of stretches before setting out on a long run. Soon, they’re passing by would-be victims and even giving neighbors a friendly wave. To drive home the point, the spot ends with the line, “Running Makes You Feel Alive.” The low-key humor makes for a memorable approach, especially when compared to the typical celebrity athlete cliches of typical ads in the category. The problem with the extended online version of “The Rundead” is that it takes an idea that could be executed in 60, or even 30 seconds and drags it out for over three minutes. The 15 and 30-second broadcast “teaser” versions of the ad present a more digestible length. With the Walking Dead midseason premiere arriving this Sunday, one thing we can say for sure about the ad is that it’s well-timed.

“We wanted to capture the transformative power of the run and create a call-to-action to inspire happiness and positivity through running,” Brooks chief experience officer Anne Cavassa told Adweek. “The visual progression from stumbling zombie to clear-eyed, happy runner in the TV spot perfectly captures how the run can make you feel more alive.”

“We spent a lot of time thinking about the gradual evolution of the zombies,” added Leo Burnett executive vice president, creative director Jon Wyville. “We wanted the viewer to feel that evolution. They didn’t immediately become runners. It took a little bit of time. As they got into the run, they started to feel all the thing the run can give you.”



Client: Brooks Running
Agency:  Leo Burnett
Title: The Rundead
Chief Creative Officer: Mark Tutssel
Executive Creative Director/Art Director: Jon Wyville
Executive Creative Director/Copywriter: Dave Loew
SVP, Account Director: Varsha Kaura
VP, Planning Director: Udayan Kolandra
Account Director: Holly Springer
Head of Production: Vincent Geraghty
Agency Sr. Producer: Michael Petrucelly
Production Company: Furlined
Director: Björn Rühmann
Editorial Company: Whitehouse Post
Editor: Matthew Wood
Music/Sound Design: Human
Color Grade: MPC LA
Colorist: Ricky Gausis