Okay, so every now and then something comes along that you cannot help but comment on. The new CDC blog post about what to do in case of a Zombie Apocalypse is brilliant in so many ways.
First, it understood that it did not have an chance in the world at getting people to come to their website as is. Who has been to the CDC? Yes, public health professionals and people traveling to distant and disease-ridden climes, but how about you? Been there lately? Me either. Until today.
Second, it looked for an insight in culture that they could tap into. For whatever reason, Zombies are back. You can argue with me that they never left, but to be sure, the amount of money generated by Zombie content has never been greater. Thank you, Resident Evil and its ilk. Of course viral outbreaks that result in Zombie-like activity (ala 28 Days Later) or actual Zombies back from the dead (ala George Romero) are both public health disasters and relevant to the CDC. Brilliant.
Third, they took a really, freaking, big risk. This is, after all, a very serious government agency that deals with life and death issues on a significant scale for the public at large. But in our uber-connected, attention economy, this is exactly the kind of thing you must do to get above the fray: align your problem with a big cultural insight and then step off the cliff. You cannot get attention by playing it safe, and isn’t doing the same old thing a bigger risk and waste of dollars.
I am sure there will be critics of this approach. But in my humble opinion, this is advertising done well and the resulting traffic and awareness of the core message (being prepared for any disaster) is spot on.
Who’d of thought that a government agency would be schooling us on how to do it right?