The Walking Dead Pranks NYC With a Grate Full of Grabby Walkers

What rotten luck

You're walking along the streets of New York City, earbuds firmly in place, texting furiously and doing your best to ignore the press of humanity as it swarms around you … when the monster-movie version of the very horror you're seeking to avoid erupts out of a street grate. It would be enough to make you drop your skinny latte on your skinny jeans.

Score another victory for prankvertising and AMC. For a moment there, I had forgotten about The Walking Dead, which shambles onward, entering its fifth season even as the zombie apocalypse genre is starting to feel like a rotten cliché. The stunt itself, orchestrated by ad agency Relevent, is simple and effective, but there's a surprisingly real and sweet moment when the zombies restrain themselves from scaring the bejesus out of a little girl who wanders up to the grate in curiosity.

Of course, they don't have any reticence about scaring their own cast. Norman Reedus was recently pranked by costar Andrew Lincoln and one-limbed Vine star Nick Santonastasso. They set him up with a fake interview in Tokyo and then sprung the undead on him.

Between those two incidents, and the even more aggressive "Devil Baby Attack" prank for the horror movie Devil's Due, it seems ambushing people in NYC with horrifying half-humans is the strategy of the season. If that's what it takes to breathe life into the zombie genre, then prank on.

Credits below.


Client: AMC

Agency: Relevent

Executive Creative Director: Ian Cleary

Executive Producer: Tony Berger

Creative Director: Jody Feldman

Producer: Bari Henderson

Account Manager: Claire Annas

@rebeccacullers Rebecca Cullers is a contributor to Adweek.