ISSUES

Danse Macabre

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To break up the somewhat more serious business of recognizing the best direct response campaigns and personalities of the year, every Moxie Awards Gala offers up a comedic music video featuring prominent ERA members. Past years’ videos have been themed around the most popular song of the summer (the very apropos Call Me Maybe, for example) or the meme of the moment (see: DRTV Shake).

This year, Concepts TV Productions grabbed the industry’s funny bone—and bit right in—with Undead Response, a video parodying the current cultural vogue for zombies and gore. “It didn’t seem like there was an apparent ‘song of the summer,’” says James Nolan, vice president and senior editor for Towaco, N.J.-based Concepts. “We were trying to think of a topic that everybody loves, and came up with this at one of our retreats.”

Concepts solicited 30 seconds of zombie-related video from companies throughout the industry and wove the contributions in with segments of its own. “All the companies really got into it,” Nolan says. “They dressed up and gave us nice clips to work with.”

Undead Response starts off with a forebodingly apocalyptic, Walking Dead-style title sequence, then segues into a zombie picnic at the offices of Marketing Maven. Curtis Kleinman, COO of Swipe Payments, chews up the scenery (and a bloody severed foot), while pitchman Marc Gill prepares a hot lunch of “graaiinns.” Post-deceased executives from Guthy-Renker and THOR Associates put their decay on display, an Ideal Living product meeting devolves into flesh-eating chaos, and Bluewater Media fights the CGI demons that emerge from the hellmouth outside its doors.

Finally, the Concepts team kicks off a full-fledged Thriller homage featuring post-production supervisor Cheron Walden in the Michael Jackson role, with choreographed supporting segments from the Guthy-Renker staff and more, um, interpretive monster moves.

“We had to narrow it down as to what we could use,” says Jon Calderaro, Concepts’ vice president of operations. “The great thing about this industry is that it’s really creative. And our team is definitely on board—everybody has a lot of fun doing the videos. We’re always busy over here, but we make time for ERA.”

“We like to contribute to the Moxie Gala, and video production is the best way for us to do it,” Nolan adds. “It was a great night.”