James Cooper is a strategist on the Content and Community team at Social Media Group (SMG). Follow @jamescooper

If you, like I did, watched the season three premiere of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” last night, you probably saw the PZA (Public Zombie Announcement) for “The American Red Cross Zombie Blood Drive”. AMC and the American Red Cross have joined forces on the campaign, which encourages viewers to “use their brains and give blood”. I think it’s a clever strategy to support an important cause.

Zombie Celebrity Photos - The Black Keys (Photo: AMC)

The campaign, which puts the spotlight on the constant need for blood donations, also includes “zombie-fied” digital portraits of an impressive lineup of celebrities, like Aisha Tyler, Peter Jackson, The Black Keys, EXTRA’s Maria Menounos, Joel Madden, Jimmy Smits, NASCAR’s Kurt Busch. The “zombie-fication” process was performed by “The Walking Dead’s” own special effects make-up designer, Greg Nicotero.

Watch the Public Zombie Announcement:

The Red Cross is not the first public service organization to use a zombie apocalypse to advance its cause. In 2011, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention launched its Zombie Preparedness campaign. What began as a tongue in cheek approach to engage new audiences with pandemic preparedness messages has proven to be an effective platform, which includes a graphic novella, a blog and an educators website among other web and social media.

What do you think? Do you like the idea of using a zombie apocalypse to drive an audience to take action?

Share this post!TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle+Email