Maximum Effort brings deadvertising to Walking Dead finale


Well, The Walking Dead finally came to an end last weekend after 11 seasons. Some great. Some not so great. But AMC did give Darryl, Judith, Maggie, Negan and Carol a proper send-off. Helping with that send-off were five hilarious spots from Ryan Reynold’s agency, Maximum Effort.

Maximum Effort teamed with AMC Network’s Content Room and Kimmelot’s Dan Sanborn to create the campaign. The fun stunt saw four previous characters from the series in spots for five different brands – Autodesk, Deloitte, DoorDash and Ring. A fifth spot promoted MNTN, the connected TV performance marketing platform where Reynolds serves as CCO.

The creative features Rodney (played by Joe Ando-Hirsh), Milton (Dallas Roberts), Gareth (Andrew West) and Andrea (Laurie Holden) all coming back to the living for their brands.

In one spot, from Amazon’s Ring, Gareth, a former enemy of the Walking Dead heroes, tries to fend off solicitors at his door. “I would literally rather die — again,” he tells viewers. In another, Andrea tells those watching how consulting firm Deloitte collects “the biggest, brightest, juiciest brains” to help clients take on “their meatiest challenges.” Watch below:


“Ads should be fun,” Ryan Reynolds, founder of Maximum Effort, said in a statement. “The Walking Dead has generated more cultural conversation over the last decade than any other property and we wanted to honor that by bringing a few characters back from the dead in some fun contextual ads.” 

“Content Room’s unique access to the zombie apocalypse and its millions of living fans is one of the many ways we can contextually bring a brand to life,” added Kim Granito, EVP of Content Room and integrated marketing for AMC Networks. “We know TWD fans will love the creativity and seeing some of their favorite characters come (back) to life through these imaginative spots.”

“Ads can be a part of the cultural conversation as they once so frequently were. They just need a little more love, attention and mischief,” adds Reynolds.

Maximum Effort, which completed the ads just days ago, shot all the spots over a compressed two-day period, according to Variety. The agency has developed a reputation for coming up with concepts that play off pop culture. 

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Colin Costello is the West Coast Editor of Reel 360. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @colinthewriter1