Night of the living SMS zombies

John C. Tanner
31 Oct 2007

A little something for Halloween, via Wired: an "SMS-enabled interactive street performance" from New York artist Paul Notzold. With zombies.

Basically, it involves a 15-foot-wide outdoor screen flashing movie stills from the legendary proto-zombie film Night of the Living Dead with speech balloons (like you see in comics) that can be filled in randomly by passers-by via SMS.

No, there’s no business model. It’s art. And a great excuse to make a zombie reference in a tech blog that doesn’t involve DoS attacks.

But imagine if it was an ad for the 40th anniversary DVD release of a film. Or a promotion for a Halloween sale. On the other hand, if it was for commercial purposes, would people find it as much fun?

We’ll find out soon. Advertisers are very keen on the possibilities of mobile campaigns that allow location-based consumer interaction. Imagine being able to have the picture that uses your text pushed by MMS to your handset as a wallpaper, or being able to select one you like with a shortcode. Imagine that download coming with a mobile coupon.

You get the idea.

Sure, those would would have to be opt-in experiences. But a free public “caption contest” gimmick could be the hook that gets their attention. If nothing else, it’s good clean fun.

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