How "Alien: Covenant" created an immersive experience with email

McKenzie Gregory


"Meet Walter” campaign extends the trailer to the inbox 

Even if you aren’t a fan of the "Alien" franchise, chances are good that you’ve at least heard about the latest installment coming out this weekend:  "Alien: Covenant." The much-anticipated film has been heavily promoted by 20th Century Fox, and they’ve done a top-notch job generating buzz about the movie long ahead of its release date. 
One perfect example? The viral “Meet Walter” marketing campaign. It kicked off with a simple call to action spread through social media back in March, "Created to serve. Created for you. Visit to reserve and customize your own synthetic companion."
As a fan of the series, it caught my attention immediately, so I visited the URL to sign up and reserve my Walter. Afterward, this email landed in my inbox... 

The first email 

Date  March 10, 2017
Subject line – Thank You for Registering at 
Preheader – Your custom Walter AND Chipset manufactured by Weyland-Yutani 
This email sells the experience so well.
• The design is gorgeous, mobile-optimized, and looks exactly like what you’d expect from a futuristic tech company (complete with the fictional manufacturer's logo).
• The addition of my name in the "chipset" adds a nice touch of personalization.
• They create a sense of immersion without going too far: While the messaging is completely fitting for the world of the film, links to the "Alien: Covenant" social media profiles remind you what it's all about. 
After shamelessly geeking out over the fact that they were using email marketing to power this amazing campaign, I moved on with my life. That is, until… 

The second email 

Date – May 3, 2017
Subject line Your Walter is Ready. Customize now at
Preheader – Weyland-Yutani is pleased to inform you that your Walter is now available. 
Two months after signing up and just a week and a half before the premiere, I was greeted by this email.
It was perfect timing: I still remembered signing up, and with the premiere date coming up so soon, my sense of anticipation was heightened that much more. With a single, focused CTA, there was no distraction from clicking through. 
When you click the “Customize Now” button, you land on this page: 
It leads you through a fun, interactive quiz that helps you “calibrate” your Walter and land on the best option for your personality. 
You’re given a few suggestions based on your responses but still allowed to explore all of the various units. From the practical (Physicist) to the tongue-in-cheek (Romantic and Manny), they offer a little bit of everything for every type of space traveler. 
Once you choose your final selection, you’re taken to a page where you can share your customized Walter on Twitter of Facebook. 

The full marketing journey 

All in all, their team took people through this path... 
Social (Initial CTA) ➡️  
Website (Signup) ➡️  
Email (Confirmation) ➡️  
Email (Invitation to Take Quiz) ➡️  
Website (Interactive Quiz) ➡️  
Social (Share Your Results)
It truly brought everything full circle and created a seamless multichannel marketing experience destined to go viral. 

Key takeaways from the "Meet Walter" campaign

  1. Email marketing is an incredibly powerful tool for building engaging experiences. 
  2. It’s even more powerful when you combine it with other channels like social and your website. 
  3. I’m absolutely going to see "Alien: Covenant" this weekend. 

About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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