More Zombie Survival Guiding: L4D2 Viral Ad

By John Walker on October 27th, 2009 at 4:34 pm.

EA appear to be releasing some UK localised viral marketing for Left 4 Dead 2, which seems to be aiming for the Shaun of the Dead fanbase. Two guys in a shed, explaining how to survive the zombie apocalypse caused by the “L4D2 virus”. But this one’s a misfire.

It falls short of the standard we’ve come to expect of L4D2 promotions. There’s clearly mileage in zombie survival guides – goodness knows there’s plenty of them. Zombieland most recently played on this idea very successfully, its list of rules for survival woven hilariously into the movie. But this would surely be two guys pratting around in their shed on a bored afternoon, were it not for the obviously high quality camera, array of props, and make up effects at the end.

It’s fair to assume this isn’t aimed at the average hardcore PC gamer, who’s going to be following the leaks and trails coming directly from Valve HQ in the build up to the game – this is about reaching outside of such a group. And it has a fart joke.

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69 Comments »

  1. 678 says:

    A 25 million dollars marketing campaign on this ?

  2. LewieP says:

    This might just be the first mediocre thing I have ever seen with Valve’s name attached to it. Very strange feeling.

  3. westyfield says:

    What the hell was that?

    Badly done, EA / Valve. Badly done.

  4. linfosoma says:

    Should I make a “EA ruinned everything” comment?
    Nah, I have standards.

  5. Tei says:

    I have read one of these “Survive a Zombie Invasion” handbooks, and found it really boring. I think all the discussions on the XKCD boards about surviving a “Velociraptor Invasion” are more ralistic and fun.

    • Tei says:

      But I have to admit I like to talk to such things in forums.

      Re: Video

      I have nothing bad to say. Is bad?

    • Gorgeras says:

      Valve still refuse to take my suggestion to make Velociraptor the tenth TF2 class seriously.

    • Tei says:

      Yea, the Max Brooks one. It reads like like a manual *in a wrong way*· I think I have read enough weird literature ..by now, …to say is a failed experiment. I sould probably have buy any of the other books… that now are tempting.. but I say NO.

      The line of “I miss the internet” from L4D was epic.

      *cough* http://www.cracked.com/photoshop_90_the-world-tomorrow-if-internet-disappeared-today_p20 *cough*

    • Tei says:

      Yea, the Max Brooks one. It reads like like a manual *in a wrong way*· I think I have read enough weird literature ..by now, …to say is a failed experiment. I sould probably have buy any of the other books… that now are tempting.. but I say NO.

      The line of “I miss the internet” from L4D was epic.

      *cough*….photoshop_90_the-world-tomorrow-if-internet-disappeared-today_p20 *cough*

    • Fumarole says:

      If by failed experiment you mean on the New York Times Bestseller list, then yeah, it is.

  6. Rook says:

    Valve royally fuck up all the time: PowerPlay , original Steam release, Half-Life 2 release date etc…

    • Alex Hopkinson says:

      Many people probably don’t remember that the Friends part of Steam was offline with a “Coming back soon” message for about 5 years or something silly.

  7. Fenchurch says:

    Are you sure this isn’t a Game advert? Because Lord it’s about as terrible as all the Game/Gamestation nonsense we’re used to.

  8. Hells says:

    Actually with the weapons at the end they look like Airsoft rifles which any serious airsofter is likely to own. But yeah the zombies look pretty good. Only the camera gave it away that it’s a viral. The zombies actually look quite alot like http://www.beazombie.com zombies actually

  9. duel says:

    looks like this was made by GAME to sell pre-orders

  10. Dominic White says:

    EA have a schizophrenic marketing division. The way they’ve handled Brutal Legend is a good example.

    Web advert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLivCZ1bGpc (Pretty good)
    TV advert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVo98qkUoTc (What did I just see!?)

    Their output is all over the place.

  11. Flobulon says:

    Holy shit that was shit.

  12. Kenny says:

    I thought it was really funny in a Shawn of the Dead sort of way, his mate even brought him back a 4 pinter of milk – but it was from Morrisons so it was probably nearly out of date.

  13. Nerd Rage says:

    I’m going to file this next to “the new shit” and ignore it. Valve still knows what they’re doing, even if marketing still doesn’t.

    • Whiskey Jak says:

      I agree with you 100%, couldn’t have said it better. And really, once I’ll be playing Dragon Age and L4D2, I seriously don’t think any of these silly ads/trailers will matter.

  14. T-B0N3 says:

    …. wtf

  15. Stupoider says:

    Hehe. The guy’s assistant reminded me of Gareth from The Office. :D

  16. Angry Clive says:

    Fucking work experience kids.

    This is awful :(

  17. Tom says:

    Yeah, he looked pretty angry when he staggered towards him with it as well haha

  18. The Fanciest of Pants says:

    Bleh….That was just…

    …Bleh.

  19. Richard Eid says:

    How is this from EA/Valve? The user that posted the video is http://www.youtube.com/user/L4D2outbreak

    Nothing on that page could lead one to believe that either Valve or EA produced this.

    It’s likely that the video was produced by Game.co.uk.

  20. Tzarkahn says:

    This makes me sad.

    Having a Grumpy(er) Tuesday now.

  21. Bhazor says:

    You know that Ad agencies and PR companies were the first to see redundancies during the recession. But like a zombie, those fuckers just will not die.

    “I blame EA”
    -Trad.

    • Jacques says:

      My girlfriend works on the finance side of a media company, you wouldn’t believe how many millions of £ companies spend per month to advertise their product. As far as her company was concerned, there was no recession.

  22. Toby says:

    It would be extremely unusual for a games outlet to produce an original ad for a game, rather than simply using stock material from the developer/publisher themselves with the store name/narration patched on (like at the end of this). Can anyone think of any other examples? I can’t… Then again, it did look like this cost a few thousand at most to make. Not a huge viral investment.

    It would be comforting if this weren’t made/sanctioned by Valve, though I can see how the original concept *might* have sounded like it would work. This clearly doesn’t.

  23. diebroken says:

    Not only do I find the lack of a chainsaw disturbing, but the fact that they used an electric strimmer puzzling indeed… yes, I admit… I watched it *cries*

  24. Dr Lulz says:

    I watched about 30 seconds of it, and then recognised it was Horne and Corden. It explains it all really.

    • Optimaximal says:

      It’s not. It looks a lot like them (which was probably the intention) but it isn’t them.

    • Dr Lulz says:

      So you mean to say there are others worse than those two calamities?

      I think I need to sit down for a while…

  25. Frans Coehoorn says:

    Worst thing is, there’s a part two as well.

  26. Lilliput King says:

    Dont think it is Horne and Corden.

  27. born2expire says:

    As much as I enjoy L4D, they are the furthest thing from “zombies”. At least Shaun of the Dead understood zombies (the last movie to do so might I add).

  28. Ozzie says:

    I don’t think it was bad. But Valve can better, that’s true.

    • Stense says:

      Got to agree. I didn’t think it was a bad advert, it had a little humour to it, just that Valve and EA can do so much better with an ad.

    • Pl4t0 says:

      yeah, same here. pretty funny at points, but with Valve’s and EA’s combined resources, you’d think they could’ve put out something with a little more awesome in it.

  29. Rick says:

    I have to admit to a minor chuckle at the idea of attacking a zombie with a lawn trimmer.

  30. Redd says:

    We’ve gone full circle. Our simulations of the embarrassingly shit are back to being embarrassingly shit. We are now living in the past that people look back on and mock. AGAIN. Except that I fear that we won’t even have that level of awareness in the future because it’s not a circle any more, is a helix, spiralling down in on itself. This crap will become so ubiquitous that our great-grandchildren, whose culture is as a muddledly self-referential as Wikipedia in 2030, will laud it the art of the ancients. This is cultural suicide by endless dilution. Homeopathic humour, the masses laughing at nothing because there’s supposedly a joke somewhere in the sea of piss. FUCK.

  31. dtgreen says:

    Absolutely awful.

  32. Tyshalle says:

    Eh, it’s a commercial. Who cares?

  33. Dan Lawrence says:

    Nick Frost and Simon Pegg already did their own Zombie survial guide as part of 5000 volts:

    First part is here

  34. OctaneHugo says:

    Am I the only one who thought the last couple bits were kind of funny? D:

    I mean, it wasn’t laugh out loud territory, but the last few made me smile.

  35. Mordarke says:

    Am I the only one that actually thought this was kinda amusing?

  36. fishmitten says:

    This and delaying the PC demo release today makes me want to kick Valve in the balls.

  37. Orange says:

    First Dragon Age and now this, terrible marketing.

  38. IvanHoeHo says:

    Hay EA, how about you give all your allotted promotional budget to Valve so that they can do something useful with it? Thanks.

  39. MD says:

    I didn’t enjoy it, but I’m not sure what’s so surprisingly bad about it. It’s an ad for a vide game, they’re usually a bit rubbish.

  40. mejobloggs says:

    I quite liked it

  41. apa says:

    You people just don’t like it because the blog post said that you shouldn’t like it. But it’s all good, it’s a trend on this site anyway :D

  42. Synneth says:

    I thought it was funny. Not 'rofl' funny but amusing. Strimmer…lol :)

    I'm glad he remembered the milk…

  43. Rive says:

    Right next to “The Glass Castle” by Jeanette Walls eh? ;)

  44. dog says:

    @apa please may i be the first to tell you to fuck off you condescending twat…

    i watched the video and came to my own conclusion and thought it was weak and really a bit embarrassing…

    • The Unbelievable Guy says:

      Hey there, calm yourself down. This isn’t the Youtube comment section. We’re civil folks around here.

  45. CaseytheBrash says:

    Well, it got people talking, so it’s win for them?

  46. steoan says:

    have you seen this viral support or what is it…