The Walking Dead universe, which has been reluctant to do so in the past, is getting into the product placement game. In the past decade, the series has only placed a product into the show for promotional purposes once, in an opening season episode that featured a Hyundai Tucson as a getaway car. However, it’s leaner times now; viewership is dropping (and therefore ad rates), and so I expect are carriage fees, as more people cut the cord and get their zombie fix from Netflix. AMC is casting a wider net now for revenue opportunities.
Viewers on Sunday will see one of the “World Beyond” characters, played by Annet Mahendru, surprise another, played by Nico Tortorella with a full bottle of Mountain Dew, cloaked in a label that might have greeted a consumer around 2010. “Is this legit?” he asks, mentioning the soda by name. “I will never stop missing these. I mean, I used to drink this like water, back in the day.”
The clip is already online if you don’t want to wait until this weekend’s episode of The World Beyond to watch it:
I should note that the Mtn. Dew he is drinking — which Mahendru’s character, Huck, tells him she found “chilling out back in the stream” — has to be at least a decade old because the series is set ten years after the apocalypse. A quick search reveals that carbonated beverages are only good for 9 months, and it’s unlikely that “chilling out in a stream” for a decade will preserve the soft-drink any better than a refrigerator might. I’m not sure how “refreshing” that drink will be.
I suppose, however, that artistic license for profit is totally acceptable. It’s not the first time product placements have been introduced to the apocalypse, either. Remember Tallahassee’s frantic search for Twinkies in Zombieland? Contrary to urban myths, Twinkies do not remain fresh forever. In fact, according to NPR, Twinkies shelf life is only 45 days, which means that survivors in zombie apocalypses must eat a lot of really stale and rotten foods. After all, the chocolate pudding that Carl ate many seasons ago on The Walking Dead had only a shelf life of three to four weeks. Gross, Carl.