A zombie lurks inside each and every one of us. And it’s just dying to get blasted.
At least that’s the theory espoused by the makers of Zombie Blast Energy Shots, Reggie Groff and Tom Talbott. “Zombies” says Groff, “are everywhere. Going through the same routine, the same unconscious repetitive rituals every day.” Talbott adds “At work, in the office, in school. We all get that zombied feeling, where its tough to motivate, tough to get going. So we say, don’t be a zombie. That’s where Zombie Blast comes in.”
Zombie Blast is a premium quality, 2 oz. energy shot that is sold in a slightly over-sized, shotgun shell. The ingredients are a unique, high-grade mix of caffeine, vitamins, and herbal supplements, with a wildberry flavor. The shell is sized so that it has reusable qualities. Explains Reggie, “Say zombies attack. In this case, your boss coming to get you. You need energy before he sees you zoned out at your desk. Bam! Blast that inner zombie. Or if it’s real zombies, well, you’ll need all the energy you can get. Use the shell to keep your matches dry. Gotta use every tool.”
Zombie Blast didn’t start as an energy drink…
Reggie Groff had a video/film production company, that focused on creating television infomercials. Tom Talbott was a radio exec turned advertising agency. “Reggie told me about an idea for a tv show with a zombie theme. We saw multi-faceted pop culture platforms coming together. A unique business plan was developed from that idea.”
“We shot the pilot for a zombie game show in 2009” Groff explains. “Survivors competing in crazy obstacle courses, while being chased by zombies. The last scene had survivors defending a house against the horde. Adds Talbott, “The idea being that we would keep a percentage of the ad space to promote products we would create. One of them was a two ounce energy drink that would be sold in a shotgun shell. We got very close to selling the show to several cable networks, but they went zombie on us. Cold feet. (It’s still on YouTube!) So we decided to let the show go, and just concentrate on developing the drink.”
Groff had previously produced an infomerical for a California based nutraceutical company headed by Herrie Tantono. The three met, and decided to team up and pool resources. Notes Tom, “We immediately encountered a number of production obstacles, because we insisted on using a unique bottle. It would have been much easier to use existing bottles, stock drink formulas and so on. But we knew the only way we stood a chance in retail was to look better, taste better, and work better. It had to be premium quality or it would be written off as cheap novelty. At the same time, we wanted to have a clever alternative to the shots already established in the market. Names like Mega Hour Energy didn’t excite us. But Zombie Blast, that made everyone smile. Really, nobody wants to be a tired zombie, right?”
Retail is a blast!
“We opted to start distribution in New England, where we felt we knew the landscape.” says Groff. “We were fortunate to be picked up by a new division of Pine State Trading, based in Augusta, Maine, a nationally respected organization. Their Building Better Brands program would serve as our broker, and master distributer. Product began selling in November 2012.”
Within 6 months, Zombie Blast was in 600 stores. “It was selling, but we started to see a situation at the counter. Our box would get tossed out, along with our promo cards. Our product was either put into a competitors rack, or worse, behind it.” says Tom. To solve that problem, the company worked with a plastics engineer to create a special display. Reggie added, “Very cool. It looks like a bandolier. Something a zombie slayer would wear.” Of course, it takes money to produce. Tom explained, “ We have a lot already personally invested, a good product, and we’re making progress. Why not use the resources of social media, and the internet to tell the story? We created a video presentation, and put it on indiegogo.com, the crowd-sourcing site for entrepreneurs. The goal is to raise the funding for the mold needed to mass produce the display. Cash flow being what it is, and with so many things we’re trying to accomplish, it made sense to see if we can develop a good PR campaign that would help us out.”
So the quest continues to bring Zombie Blast to a mass market. Groff notes, “It’s not easy getting out into retail, but we’ve overcome a lot just to get to where we are. It’s a good product, and we’re pushing the powder to the spark. Don’t be a zombie, try one!”