When Dara Treseder moved on from Peloton to software design platform Autodesk in September, she brought one of her ad agencies with her.
Treseder signed on Ryan Reynolds’ Maximum Effort agency, buying into the creative-as-a-subscription (CaaS) program from MNTN (Maximum Effort’s parent company), which bundles media and creative services for brands. The package offers brands strategy and development work, as well as culturally relevant advertising and metrics to track it.
The two parties brainstormed how to develop the software platform’s brand and enrich its storytelling. Maximum Effort came to Autodesk with the idea to celebrate The Walking Dead, leading to its debut work Sunday night during the show’s series finale.
“Autodesk software has been used by The Walking Dead to bring visual effects to life over 12 years, 11 seasons and 177 episodes,” Treseder told Adweek, explaining her desire to connect the brand and the audience to the work it has done for the show behind the scenes.
The brand will also continue to work with Goodby Silverstein & Partners, which recently launched an ad for its construction cloud service.
Autodesk makes products and services for the architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media, education and entertainment industries. Treseder sees the technology industry needing to move on from b-to-b and focus on human-to-human marketing as one of her key initiatives.
“At the end of the day, we’re still trying to connect with people, we’re trying to solve their problems,” Treseder added. “We’re trying to show them what we have to offer and help them achieve their desired outcome.”
Treseder wants Autodesk to put the customer at the center of its messaging, citing the need to develop an emotional connection with consumers as important to its success.
An invention fit for a walker
The 30-second spot stars former Walking Dead actor Dallas Roberts reprising his character Milton Mamet hosting a Ted Talk and presenting the world’s first grunt-powered door handle. Mamet was a scientist and researcher on The Walking Dead.
The work showcases how the brand’s technology can design and make innovative products in a fun, interesting and engaging way, Treseder noted.
“You actually see the software in motion,” she said. “That type of creativity, that type of energy, that type of passion, commitment and dedication to the work, I love that. It’s so strategic, it’s so important.”
Autodesk’s ad was part of a series of five ads Maximum Effort launched last night starring characters who had been killed off in The Walking Dead returning as “walkers,” the show’s term for zombies. The other brands included Deloitte, DoorDash, MNTN and Ring.
Treseder said the brand has more planned in the future with Maximum Effort.
Before Autodesk, Treseder also helped cultivate the relationship between Peloton and Maximum Effort in 2021, which led to memorable work including the video ad starring Chris Noth, whose character Mr. Big died in the first episode of HBO’s Sex and the City, And Just Like That.
The spot came together in 48 hours and drew a significant amount of attention. However, it was quickly dropped after Noth was accused by several women of sexual misconduct. He later denied the accusations.
Maximum Effort’s b-to-b chops
The AMC campaign is the latest b-to-b marketing move from Reynolds’ agency. It’s executed several campaigns in recent months designed to liven up a category that historically hasn’t engaged its audience as well as consumer marketing.
In July, the agency brought in Steve-O, of Jackass fame, to eat a Carolina Reaper pepper while participating in a MNTN marketing platform demo for his hot sauce brand. Earlier this month, the agency worked with Flock Freight on a series of spots that brought back original Blue’s Clues actor Steve Burns to explain the difference between a “fuckload” and a “shitload,” while touting the benefits of Flock’s technology to make shipping more efficient.