How AMC Used Social Video To Keep ‘The Walking Dead’ Fans Living This Summer

By 10/01/2020
How AMC Used Social Video To Keep ‘The Walking Dead’ Fans Living This Summer

COVID-19 turned the entertainment world upside down almost overnight in March, leading not only to the suspension of live sports and other tentpole events, but virtually all TV and film production as well. Like many shows, AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead suffered; its season 10 finale, originally slated to air on April 12, was delayed until October due to halted post-production. 

So how did AMC keep TWD fans engaged and excited as they awaited fresh episodes for almost six additional months? Instead of going silent or recycling old content, the network harnessed social video to share teasers, virtual hangouts and trailers for the upcoming spinoff series The Walking Dead: The World Beyond. That steady drumbeat resulted in millions of views over the long pandemic months leading up to the big day–Sunday, Oct. 4, the airdate of the delayed finale, immediately followed by the premiere of The World Beyond.  

Using data from Tubular Labs, we dove into AMC’s multi-pronged approach with Facebook video for its zombie-infested universe. Since April 1, The Walking Dead‘s official Facebook page has uploaded 115 videos, racking up over 54.5 million views and 1.1 million engagements. While video themes spanned a variety of topics, including promotion of AMC’s other shows, many videos from TWD fell into three main buckets: promotional extras, virtual hangouts, and trailers/teasers.


Subscribe for daily Tubefilter Top Stories


Promotional extras

Notably, TWD’s most-watched Facebook video since April 1 wasn’t a trailer, but a promotion for the Ryan Hurst (who portrays Beta) account takeover, which has generated 2.4 million views since it was posted on April 6. Other extras include “Holy Sh!t” (yes, that’s the actual branding) moments from previously-aired episodes, like this one from season 10, episode 8 that’s received 616K views and urges viewers to rewatch season 10 before the return on Oct. 4. In addition, AMC also used video to promote its Endless War Facebook game (119K views).

TWD Stars are #WithYou via virtual hangouts

Once stay-at-home orders started being issued, AMC quickly pivoted to producing fresh content via video chats with cast members from TWD’s universe. Shortly after the announcement that the season 10 finale would be delayed, the network launched Friday Night In with the Morgans, featuring Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan) and his wife, with guest stars from TWD and other shows. The weekly series, all about “embracing our interconnectedness from home,” ran until July 17, and in total, these videos have accumulated 6.3 million views so far. 

A few TWD actors also shared #WithYou videos talking about the pandemic and offering heartfelt support, like this one from Khary Payton (Ezekiel), during which he gives fans a virtual hug; it has 222K views. 

And that’s not all–Colman Domingo from Fear the Walking Dead hosted a couple of virtual Bottomless Brunch at Colman’s videos. One from May has 239K views, and one from August has 236K views. AMC has also organized multiple TWD universe “family hangouts” featuring different cast members. Those videos, posted in July and August, have received 962K views in total. 

Teasers, trailers

The second most watched video from TWD’s universe, with 2.3 million views, was a teaser for The World Beyond posted on April 6. On July 24, TWD posted the opening minutes of the original planned finale (1.4 million views), and then the official trailer for The World Beyond dropped on Aug. 22 (808K views).

TWD has sped up the cadence of posting in September, uploading 39 videos (above April’s 24), many of them promoting The World Beyond. This makes sense because, although the original season 10 finale (which is now not the finale, since news broke they’ll be adding another six episodes next year) may draw a huge audience, AMC will want to spark interest around the fledgling spinoff series to ensure TWD universe fans stay tuned in.

Subscribe for daily Tubefilter Top Stories

Stay up-to-date with the latest and breaking creator and online video news delivered right to your inbox.