Recently, a video prank of a "zombie attack" went viral online. If only the "victim" in the video had read the Center for Disease Control's Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse guide.

No, the CDC doesn't believe in zombies, but the CDC does believe in disaster preparedness.

To inspire people to prepare emergency kits for real-life disasters, the CDC brilliantly crafted the imaginative (and educational) zombie apocalypse campaign.

So how did the CDC generate more than 77,000 Facebook "Likes" and 2,357 tweets (as of the time this article was written) for its emergency guide? Here are eight takeaways for marketers.

1. Jump on the bandwagon

The CDC didn't create the buzz for its disaster-preparedness guide, but it did notice the growing interest in the AMC zombie television series "The Walking Dead." Wielding its imagination, sense of humor, and marketing smarts, the CDC assembled a disaster-preparedness guide with the zombie trend in mind. And now that terms such as "zombie apocalypse" are trending online, the guide has come to be in demand once more.

Savvy marketers should also listen to online conversations and notice what trends seem to be capturing the public's imagination. Does your business have the flexibility and imagination to create or reimagine content to suit the public's demand for such topics?

2. Keep the tone consistent throughout your content

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Veronica Jarski is the Opinions editor and a senior writer at MarketingProfs. She can be reached at

Twitter: @Veronica_Jarski