by Peggy Trujillo
For my Intro to Digital Communications class, this week, we are supposed to post about a brand that succeeds in communicating with its publics. For me, the first thing that pops into my mind when I think of businesses that use social media to its fullest is “The Walking Dead.” However, TWD is not the only show that AMC does this for, so I’ll talk about how great AMC is at communicating with its publics.
“Mad Men” was AMC’s first original scripted series. Rob Sorcher, teh former executive vice president for programming and production at AMC said he was supposed to make AMC into something – something that wouldn’t get dropped by cable operators. His idea was to create an original show. If the show was popular enough, cable operators would have to keep the station because it had content that viewers couldn’t get somewhere else.
The answer was “Mad Men,” and it was a success. AMC is also responsible for shows like “Breaking Bad,” “Better Call Saul,” “Turn: Washington’s Spies,” and of course, “The Walking Dead” and “Fear the Walking Dead.”
“Mad Men” aired from 2007 – 2015. It has 2.6 million likes on Facebook and has 191,000 followers on Twitter.
“Breaking Bad” aired from 2008 – 2013. It has 11 million likes on Facebook and has 1.2 million followers on Twitter.
That is two shows that are no longer even on the air.
“The Walking Dead” expanded upon Facebook at Twitter, but first I’ll give you those stats. The show has 35 million likes on Facebook and has 6.83 million followers on Twitter. That makes it the 11th most popular TV show on a list combining these two social media sites.
However, the channel does not just stick with a couple of social media sites. AMC holds the fans in high enough regard that they started a show in 2011 called “Talking Dead,” which usually immediately follows TWD. The show has cast members, producers, and celebrity fans on the show’s couch quite often. It also features interactive elements from TWD fans throughout the show. They take calls; they get comments from the guests on the couch about what fans are discussing on Twitter; they take calls; they conduct polls, and they take questions from their live audience.
They even have a feature where they look for a number one fan each season. Viewers send in videos describing why they are the number one fan of the show. The best videos play on the show. Then, other fans go to AMC’s website to vote on their favorite. The winner gets a trip to L.A. to sit on the couch for an episode.
So, basically, AMC has a whole shows based on interacting with fans of the channel’s most popular show. They even did special episodes called “Talking Preacher” and “Talking Saul” for certain episodes of “Preacher” and “Better Call Saul.”
Other than the communication mentioned above, they also do a lot of marketing including video games and products like Mt. Dew. During one campaign with Mt. Dew, fans of the show could purchase the soda featuring TWD images. They would then scan the bar codes and take pictures during certain parts of the show. This would give the fans the ability to download “walkers” that they could use in pictures and videos they shoot on their mobile devices.
Overall, AMC, especially with TWD, has done a phenomenal job communicating with its publics.