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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Syfy, Z Nation Season 2

Finalist in Photography and Graphics


Z Nation is a post-apocalyptic Zombie show with a humorous spin. For its second season, Syfy aimed to garner buzz by creating a social campaign with intriguing visuals and graphics that would bring back fans of season one, create chatter among the community, and amass new (in Z Nation speak) fanZ. By targeting fans of The Walking Dead and other current and popular zombie shows, Z Nation was able to leverage these audiences and turn them into Syfy fans.

While other shows of the same nature center on a more serious and darker theme, Z Nation is the opposite, putting a witty and funny spin on the zombie genre. By utilizing unique visuals tailored to the tone of the show, Z Nation developed a visual marketing strategy that extended the central themes of the series, while engaging the core target. With the use of social platforms to increase awareness, Z Nation fostered a dedicated fan base for the series.

Strategy and Execution

Z Nation designed graphics that sparked conversation and made the audience feel like they were living in a relatable zombie world, traveling along the United States wasteland with the characters on their mission, coined as "Operation Bite Mark."

Part of the pre-premiere strategy included a series of Instagram-inspired photos called "Zombiegrams" that featured social media cliches with a Z Nation twist. #FoodPorn, #BabyAnnoucement, and #HotDogsOrLegs were some of the popular, social moments that our team zombified.

In season, our visual and social strategy showcased the different locations visited by featuring postcards from each episode. These postcards tied directly into the plot of the show, while adding the quirky zombie spin on an American staple. Each postcard contained a "Greeting" message from the state visited in the episode with zombified iconic scenes from each location.

Z Nation had its very own catchphrase "I Give You Mercy." This rallying cry was a signature quote in every episode where a death occurred, which was, by nature, every episode. To pay respect to the bitten, characters would issue a statement of "I Give You Mercy" (whereby a friend would purposely kill another to prevent them from turning into a zombie). We continued that concept on social by highlighting these moments through graphics that reinforced this connection to the show.

Storygraphs expand upon a static moment in time — telling a story beyond what is seen in a singular instance. By featuring funny and key moments from Z Nation season two, storygraphs were a way to promote the season in a new and creative way.

GIFs highlighting the funniest moments were a popular way of engaging with content in season. GIFs performed well across social and allowed us to feature key moments in a short and easy to share fashion.

A big moment for Z Nation season two was the birth of a hybrid baby--part human, part zombie. This addition of a half-zombie baby, named Lucy, transpired on social with the cute but gorey Baby Lucy birth announcement. This visual garnered the highest organic reach of any custom asset created for the season.


Z Nation experienced a large growth on social during its second season. There was an 89.2% increase in Facebook Likes and a 50.3% increase in Twitter Followers. This growth on social was largely due to the unique and strong creative during the season.

Season two increased from season one in average post reach on Facebook by 347%, average engagements by 98%, and weekly average reach by 405%. The Baby Lucy Birth Announcement garnered a organic reach of 132.4K, with 7.5K Likes, Comments, and Shares on Facebook, the most popular and unique post of the season.

GIFs especially were a hit with the fans and many GIFs featuring these characters had an organic reach of over 50K on Facebook with each new post. With an active voice on both Facebook and especially Twitter, Z Nation trended in the United States 3 times during its season, thanks to the content created for social.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

GLOW, Syfy


Entry Credits