Sears Goes Zombie
Mmmmrrrrrrr… BBBRRAAAIINNNSSS… and appliances and Craftsman Tools? Yep, this week Sears has gone zombie.
Check out Sears.com/zombies and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Sears has put together a really great Halloween landing page that captures the current fascination our country has with zombies. Having worked with Sears in the past (with another company) I was pleasantly surprised to see that Sears was willing to take a risk; do something that’s fun, unique and has viral potential. I’m always encouraged when I see traditional companies taking non-traditional marketing approaches like this. I’m not sure if Sears has a prepared a viral campaign that will accompanying this page, but I’d encourage them to because I think it has some nice potential to reach users that would normally never visit Sears.com.
Overall this page works great and has some really nice “don’t miss” elements that I hope you take notice of. Also listed below are a few areas that I think Sears could improve on.
- Love the great Photoshop work on this page. Shoddy visuals would have really lessened the impact, but Sears invested in some nice digital art.
- The images in the rotating main tout are great. They’re creative and embrace the fun gore that makes this genre so great.
- Don’t miss the “Switch to Zombian” link above the main tout. It turns all the copy into zombie talk.
- Props for the great videos. They’re legitimately funny, creative and done well.
- They’ve created a @ZombieShopper Twitter account to support this effort and have pulled the feed into this page.
- I love that Sears was willing to “zombify” their traditional banner ads at the bottom of the page. Kudos to the Sears branding folks for being willing to bend on this.
What’s Doesn’t Work
- This page is genuinely fun and “sharable”. The first few times I viewed it I was shocked that there no prominent call-outs to post this on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc… However the 3rd time I was on the page, I noticed in brown text a “SHARE THIS PAGE” link. However, as web users we’re trained to look for the known social site icons on these types of pages. So I would suggest highlighting at the top of the page the Facebook Like button, the Tweet button, the post on Digg button… These need to be prominent and easy to use (or they won’t be used at all, hurting the viral potential of your effort).
- Although I can see that Sears is trying to get creative with their “Zombie Friend Maker”, it ultimately fails because the functionality is nothing new and the execution is rather bland.
- The “Zombie Gift Guide” is a good merchandising idea, but after the user gets their results, there is no good call-to-action for the consumer. No links to the products that were chosen for them or anything.
- Part of what helps web pages become easily sharable is the URL. Unfortunately, once a user goes to Sears.com/Zombies… they get thrown to a URL like: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/dap_10153_12605_DAP_Zombie?origin=zeta&storeId=10153&catalogId=12605&expCheckout=&orderEmail=&langId=. For unsavvy web users, they’ll struggle if they wanted to Tweet this URL, and when you go to post it on Facebook, you get a crazy long url without an accompanying image in the wall post.
- Lastly, this page does not seem to be linked to from the rest of Sears.com. Perhaps this is a marketing decisions… but if you were never sent this page by a friend, you’d never know it’s there…
Despite the issues above, this is a great effort and I hope Sears gets some real viral and media buzz from it. Nice work Sears!