Skip to main content
Commsy creative stuff straight to your inbox


BACKSTAGE BREAKDOWN: The inside story of a zombie uprising revealed

< Blog home

BACKSTAGE BREAKDOWN: The inside story of a zombie uprising revealed

Many moons ago, we set out to broadcast the blood-curdling zombie outbreaks hitting workplaces worldwide.

For the uninitiated, zombies are employees who don’t feel engaged or connected to the business. And they can wreak havoc on their happy and harmonious colleagues.

Our mission to expose these wicked walking corpses was not for the faint hearted. So we turned to our trusted project process to make sure no stone was left unturned.

Explore our journey of discovery, and the steps taken from idea to execution and beyond!



Bringing the brief to life

After undertaking in-depth research, we wanted to tell the world what we had discovered about the living dead. But how? We began by defining what people needed to know, scoping out our stakeholders and shaping our broader goals.


Understanding the objectives

The soul-searching stage was the time to understand this frightful fringe group, why organisations have them and what can be done to save them. This was done by asking questions to build a clear picture and set our overarching objectives.


Distilling the details

With all this info we were gasping for air. What was achievable? What time and resources did we have? Who could support us? Making sure we had a clear understanding by picking through the bones to strip back and simplify was key.




Building the strategy

How will we deliver the news? What formats work best? Who do we need to reach? What approach will we take? What are the risks involved? What logistics do we need to consider? It was time for a plan!


Developing the messages

With our strategy set, we asked ourselves: what’s the best way to share our key findings? Telling a thrilling story while getting our messages straight required a lot of consideration, giving careful thought to context, benefits and impact.


Creating the concepts 

Brainstorming ideas with the team was crucial to creating our look and feel and getting the flesh on the bones. Building on our key messages, idea generation and plot twist exploration, our visual concepts, storylines, and character escapades began to surface. A series of videos was the obvious choice and our fictitious firm, Dead With Ideas was formed.




Developing the deliverables

With running orders and production specs agreed, filming day arrived! Armed with our carefully crafted scripts and accompanied by our specially selected actors we were ready for cameras to roll, and the hair-raising hysteria ensued, along with chair rowing, zombie wrestling and lots of giggles. For us, the creation process was as important as the output and gave us lots of laughs to remember when things got busy. We’re stronger when we play together.


Rolling out 

After plenty of reviewing and refining of content and a little scene slaying, we finalised our assets and deliverables. But the sign-off process is rarely a simple one. And we have to face the inevitable curve ballsthat come our way. Two years and one pandemic later, we were ready for rollout!


Measuring success

The all-important element that can petrify and paralyse. Review outputs and evaluate outcomes against objectives, report findings and feedback, learn and grow! Measurement can be a curse and a gift. But it must never be forgotten. Ignore it at your peril.


So, with footage exhumed, our story has finally seen the light of day, thanks to the input and support of our dedicated team, a rather clever producer, and a proven plan of attack.





But the zombie apocalypse is far from over. The undead could be creeping around your corridors right now. Help us ward off these worrisome creatures by sharing your experiences with us – the good, the bad, and the downright disturbing…





Read more about our zombie project…

“I feel like they own and care for the project as much as we do! I would not use anyone else for my creative work and think Alive is ahead of the game.”

Jo Hobbs — Communications Manager

“Thanks for all your help. We are delighted with the campaign, both in terms of the creativity and messaging but also the thought taken over the rollout of the materials. All looks absolutely fabulous!”

Sarah Crowdy — Campaign and Media Officer Communications, South East Water

“We went to ‘Alive’ for ideas on how to run a specific employee program in Europe. Alan and his team were brilliant in coming up with fresh, creative and practical approaches. The team took charge and executed brilliantly. We are pleased with the progress made so far and hope to have the same level of partnership and commitment going forward.”

Sobha Varghese — Tata Consultancy Services

“Alive helped us create a video of our response to the floods of winter 2019. Our Chief Officer received messages from all round the country praising us for it and was really pleased with both the video and the response to it.”

Alexander Mills, Communications Manager — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“We had the privilege to work with the Alive team. It was our first time to be involved in creating an animation for our patients within paediatrics. The team were approachable, friendly, creative and very accommodating. Your vision for what you want to create, is at all times acknowledged, appreciated and accommodated by the team. They worked effectively and with great passion towards our project and worked not only alongside health professionals but also our patients who really enjoyed the experience of working with the Alive team. It has given our team the confidence and inspiration to do further projects in the future. We highly recommend Alive and their exceptional team.”

DR ELENI ATHANASAKOS, Lead Paediatric Clinical Scientist — NHS Barts Health

“‘The short animation developed in co-production with clinicians and young people is outstanding! Informative, developmentally appropriate, vitally fun and engaging. We are really grateful for the expertise of the Alive with Ideas team for their innovative approach in building children’s health literacy.'”

Kath Evans — Director of Children’s Nursing at Barts Health

“Our mission was to update our brand visuals to better reflect our innovative and forward-thinking organisation. After receiving numerous pitches from different branding agencies, Alive stood out with their clear passion and understanding of our identity and goals. We thoroughly enjoyed working with the Alive Team to create an engaging new brand that we are immensely proud of.”

Lianne Springer — Communications and Engagement Lead

“Alive wowed us during the pitch process and they didn’t stop wowing us throughout the whole project. Every person we worked with at Alive were so friendly, knowledgeable and clearly passionate about what they do. They have worked with us to really understand what we do and have created a new brand and website that really stands out from our competitors. Thank you!”

Louise Burnard, Head of Marketing and Communications UK — Be | Shaping the Future

“I think the team have done such a brilliant job, particularly with responding to our requests. It's one of the best mental health videos I've ever seen. Very proud to be associated with your exemplary work. Thank you so much.”

Dr Anna Batho — Clinical Psychologist – Critical Care, UCLH

“We have worked with Alan, Caroline and the wider Alive With Ideas team for many years. In that time, they have provided a dedicated service that is second to none. We appreciate their attention to detail and creative approach to bringing our brand, communications and stories to life. And would recommend them to anyone looking for creative communications support.”

Georgia Beech — Internal Communications Specialist, Ocado Group

“This is brilliant. I wanted to give my heartfelt thanks to all of the team who worked on this. You all understood exactly what we wanted to communicate and why, and then managed to do it in a way that was far better than anything I could have imagined. I’m a bit choked up to be honest!”

Sarah Wright, Head of Communications and Campaigns — NEA

“Each time I work with the team, I am always stunned at the effort and creativity that goes into each detail and am always eager for the end result. The team is extremely accommodating and always provide a fresh approach to our projects that elevates our communications materials!”

Alana Khaytin, Communications Specialist — Braskem America

“What I really appreciate about Alive is that they work with us as partners, and care as much about getting it right for our patients as we do.”

Sara Langston, Patient Engagement & Marketing Manager — italk

“Alive are unique in how much they deeply listen and invest in you and your ideas. I have not come across a company that listens as much as they do to ensure your needs are understood and met (actually - they always exceed my needs and expectations). Everyone I recommend Alive to has an equally brilliant experience. When you work with Alive, you are not only getting some genius creativity brought into your life, you are also hanging out with some of the best examples of human beings I’ve ever known.”

Steph Tranter, Hybrid Exec Coach & Psychologist —

“The (Alive) team were able to creatively pull together and document (in just over 2minutes) everything our service has achieved over the last few months, from thousands of prescriptions deliveries to hundreds of phone calls made to the vulnerable. The final product was so powerful and reflective of what our service has and continues to achieve. It couldn’t have been better received within the service – thanks Alive for once again helping us to communicate our vision!’”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire & Rescue

“We worked with the team at Alive to create our staff recognition video.
At a time like this, its never been more important to share the amazing work that our staff have done and continue to do on a daily basis under very difficult circumstances. We wanted to shout about this and recognise that when the time came, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue stepped up to the plate. We didn’t want an ordinary thank you post on social media or a basic email sent out internally, we wanted something special. Enter Alive. ”

Emma Wright — South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

“Our company is fun, we have great brands, but most importantly we’re all about our people – and I wanted an agency who would understand that and help us bring it to life through our website and other comms. Straight away I felt that Alive ‘got’ us and provided the creative inspiration exactly where we needed it, as well as the technical expertise to deliver a well-functioning website.”

Keren McCarron, Head of Corporate Affairs & Communications — KP Snacks

Thank you so much. Incredible work done at incredible speed by incredible people.
Outstanding work as ever and what a turnaround. As for the concepts – wow. These are that good it would be an insult to describe them as just good. It’s a joke, quite frankly. This is exactly the Alive effect I was after. Right now I feel like I am living in an Alive With Ideas wonderland. Thank you!”

Jack Grasby, Campaigns Manager — SYFR

“If you are looking to improve creativity and build teamwork, I highly recommend a session like this for your team. No matter where you are in your creativity journey, a workshop like this can give your team a boost of energy and ideas to invigorate their creative thinking.”

Amy Lilja, IC Manager — Hennepin Healthcare

“Alive were there to help when we were working every hour to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. They gave us the creativity, ideas and support we needed to deliver campaigns which empowered our residents in the most difficult time most of us have ever seen, personally and professionally. The team understood what we needed, worked closely with us and delivered fast without any compromise on quality. Working with Alive has been a joy in the darkest of times and I have no doubt will have helped to save lives. Thanks team x”

Julie Odams, Assistant Director of Communications & Customers — Derbyshire County Council

“We got 'Alive' involved to help us shift mindsets across our organisation and they delivered! Using simple, clear and creative ideas the team have delivered us a campaign which has seen a dramatic increase in idea sharing and development. They’ve also played a significant role in creating a culture of shared success. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with again, in fact, we already are!”

Gavin Buckle — B&Q
Alive logo