Using Zombies in Hardware Store Ad Campaign = Success; Using Hardware Store in Zombie Mockumentary = Unemployment
During the Halloween season of 2011, I posted a story about how the Westlake Ace Hardware chain of stores in Nebraska used zombies as part of a new advertising campaign. This zombie-themed campaign, which included a witty Web site and in-store "Zombie Preparedness Centers", was a big success. Unfortunately, someone in Georgia didn't get the memo.
According to reports from news sites around the Internet, a group of college students in Georgia produced a documentary short film called When The Zombies Come that won a prize at the recent Sundance Film Festival. The film was shot an Ace Hardware store in Lawrenceville, GA, and it featured real-life Ace employee Alex Warner explaining why a hardware store would be a perfect place to be during a sudden zombie outbreak. One would think that this high-profile, prize-winning mockumentary--a mockumentary that was made without a dime from Ace itself--is an ideal extension of the aforementioned Ace advertising campaign, right? Apparently, Ace Hardware management in Georgia feels otherwise. Ace posted a cease and desist letter on YouTube, claiming that the short can potentially damage Ace's reputation and trademark infringement, and have cut the working hours of Warner to zero.
Here's a screen capture of Ace's expression of displeasure of the film that was posted on Facebook:
Here’s the offending video, courtesy of YouTube:
So far, no complaints have been filed on behalf of the zombie community over the short's supposedly offensive nature. I guess we'll have to wait for the pending zombie apocalypse to know for sure.