How ‘The Walking Dead’ is Infecting Brands from Hasbro to Hyundai

Marketers create vehicles, boardgames and Halloween experiences to target 18-34-year-old males

The fourth season of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” doesn’t debut until October, but that hasn’t stopped brands from rallying around the zombie series in order to court 18-35-year-old men.

Hyundai has launched “The Walking Dead Chop Shop” app  that enables fans to customize three vehicles into zombie-killing survival machines when outfitted with nearly 300 parts such as flame throwers, machine guns, machetes and chainsaws. As of Aug. 5, nearly 43,000 vehicles had been designed through the app.

The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman and Hyundai unveiled their latest zombie survival vehicle (see below), based on the sporty Veloster, at Comic-Con in San Diego, developed by agency Innocean USA as a way to build the brand’s identity among young males. The first, based on an Elantra Coupe, was revealed at last year’s fanfest.

A kiwi-green Hyundai Tucson is featured in the series.

Hasbro and USAopoly will start offering “Walking Dead” editions of the “Monopoly” and “Risk” board games in September. The traditional player tokens are replaced by Sheriff Rick Grimes’ hat, Dale’s RV, a telephone, Michonne’s katana, a bat, and bucket of body parts. Cash has been replaced by fuel, food, knives, firearms and first aid. The games will be exclusively sold through Skybound and Diamond Comic Distributors.

■ “The Walking Dead” will also serve as the overall theme of Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort’s annual Halloween Horror Nights’ event and return as a maze for a second consecutive year. Event runs Sept. 20 through Nov. 2.

SEE ALSO:  ‘The Walking Dead’ to Theme Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights

The Walking Dead” returns Oct. 13.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel WME

    Endeavor Targets Sept. 27 for Stock Debut, IPO Video Tells Company's Origin Story

    After years of preparation, Endeavor is set to make its formal Wall Street debut on Sept. 27, when its stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor has targeted Sept. 26 for the final pricing of its shares. The stock will trade publicly the following day. Earlier this week, Endeavor said its [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Stock Drops After CEO Acknowledges 'Tough Competition' Coming From Disney, Apple

    Netflix shares fell as much as 7% Friday to a nine-month low, coming after CEO Reed Hastings commented that the November launches of Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus will introduce a “whole new world” of competition. Hastings, speaking at the Royal Television Society conference Friday in Cambridge, England, said, “While we’ve been competing with [...]

  • Charlie Rose Sexual Harassment

    Charlie Rose Sued for Sexual Harassment by Longtime Makeup Artist

    A makeup artist who worked for Charlie Rose for 22 years has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, accusing the former CBS and PBS host of years of unlawful behavior toward female employees. Gina Riggi alleges that Rose was verbally abusive with her and would often make derogatory comments about her weight. She also alleges that [...]

  • Rob Stringer

    Sony Music Chief Rob Stringer on Sustaining Growth and Recovering From the 'Dark Times'

    The Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, now in its 28th year, gives top executives at major companies the opportunity to make their case to investors — and the Goldman analysts the opportunity to keep things on the up and up. While the analysts don’t necessarily grill the executives, they don’t lob softball questions either. That was [...]

  • Frank Grillo'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Matt Phelps Tapped as President of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo's Warparty

    Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan’s Warparty productikon banner has appointed Matt Phelps president of the company. Phelps will head the Los Angeles office and be responsible for overseeing all film and television projects. “We searched long and hard to find the right fit for Warparty and felt that Matt embodied everything that we were looking [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

  • Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton

    Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton to Head Programming

    Nexstar Media Group has become the nation’s largest owner of TV stations after completing its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media. The deal creates a broadcasting colossus with more than 200 stations serving more than 100 markets, although a number of stations will be divested to keep Nexstar in compliance with FCC ownership limits. Nexstar, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content