A comprehensive marketing partnership for Alien: Covenant and AMD that introduced audiences to the Alien franchise’s newest android, Walter.
Synthetics are as essential to the Alien universe as the titular creatures. We needed to announce the new android in Alien: Covenant, “Walter” (Michael Fassbender), in a memorable and culture-piercing manner.
We created a cross-media product launch event that positioned Walter as the newest real-world technology innovation, in partnership with AMD—a technology company at the forefront of developing A.I. technologies. The campaign included an in-world Weyland-Yutani brand film, a comprehensive digital campaign, and a SXSW event.
An evolution of the beloved Prometheus “David 8” promo, “Meet Walter” shows a ritualistic process where a synthetic being is brought to life by a pair of technicians in a remote Weyland-Yutani lab. The Walter manufacturing process is a hypnotically beautiful endeavor. We watch as a 3D-bioprinted body is assembled, given sentience with an AMD neural processor, then cultured in a protein-based liquid. After gestating for an undetermined amount of time, Walter is brought to life and taken to a corporate showroom where potential customers meet and appraise Walter units for purchase.
The entire spot was designed to juxtapose Walter and David — two very different androids. David was designed to be very human. He can create. He can experience emotion. Walter is the opposite. He is made to serve. He is an appliance. A practical companion made to help people achieve a better human experience. These differences informed the spot and the idea that Weyland-Yutani would sell this product as an android that is “Created to Serve.”
Meet Walter represents a new kind of partnership, forged early in the production process and built around a meaningful collaboration between filmmaker, studio, brand, and talent. The effort was carefully constructed to lean into a cultural conversation around artificial intelligence. We partnered with real-world technology company, AMD, to get the film in front of a new generation of digital consumers that did not have an existing relationship with the Alien franchise. For AMD, the effort was designed to articulate their complex CPU and GPU products in an entirely new way, while penetrating a broader cultural dialogue.
A COORDINATED LAUNCH
We worked together with 20th Century Fox and AMD to create a launch plan that grabbed the attention of fans, press, and general moviegoers.
The campaign kicked off with an eerie 15-second product teaser that invited viewers to save the date for a big Weyland-Yutani announcement on 3/10/17. At SXSW, we launched the brand film with a special fan event at Austin’s Paramount Theatre that featured Ridley Scott, Michael Fassbender, Danny McBride, and Katherine Waterston. Event-goers were treated to limited-edition Walter posters, a limited-edition t-shirt, a screening of the original Alien film, and a sneak peek of Alien: Covenant.
After SXSW, the full campaign went live across owned channels with coordinated coverage from major outlets across the worlds of entertainment, tech, advertising and film. All content drove to a Meet Walter website where visitors could learn more about Walter and receive their very own personalized synthetic companion. We also partnered with Twitter to extend the experience with an auto-response campaign that delivered fans personalized video messages from Walter himself.
BEHIND THE SCENES
3AM produced Meet Walter with RSA Films during Alien: Covenant’s production, working alongside the filmmakers and crew. The brand film was directed by Luke Scott, written by 3AM, and starred Michael Fassbender as Walter.
Audiences and press lauded the prologue as a perfect introduction to the characters, world, and central concepts at play in Alien: Covenant.
“Alien: Covenant keeps dropping tantalizing looks into its world.”
— Entertainment Weekly
“Branded content done right.”
— Advertising Age
“It’s like an Apple ad for your next creepy humanoid robot.”
“No matter which generation android Fassbender plays, he remains the creepy personification of Apple promotional videos…”
— The Hollywood Reporter
“Incredible…better than HBO’s Westworld…an absolutely stunning short film.”
— Bloody Disgusting
“The technological details are stunning, but so is the script, the acting and the marketing tools that went along with making Walter seem like a real product.”
— The Drum
• 10m+ views
• Covered by 140+ press outlets
• #1 most-talked about theatrical release (ListenFirst digital audience ratings)
• #2 trending on Reddit Movies
• 72% YouTube retention rate
• 29% Facebook engagement rate
• 4m+ social engagements