In honour of the end of season 6, we’ve compiled some excellent Game of Thrones marketing stunts. Along with a solid social and physical media strategy to keep excitement levels high for the TV show by parent channel HBO, there have also been some extremely clever and funny uses of this high-profile brand to promote other services and products. Check out some of our favourite PR stunts based on this popular show.
Nobody likes spoilers, and stationery brand Viking used this social phenomenon to create literal “spoiler tags” to help people in offices and at home know which topics of conversation were on or off the table. The stunt was a simple and playful way to exploit the Game of Thrones brand and the culture of its fans.
For the launch of season 5 in 2015, the Viking blog hosted these labels as a pdf document, which users could download and print on to stickers to alert friends and co-workers to their current viewing progress. The site, of course, prompted visitors to purchase ink and toner to complete this task.
Chocolate Dragon Egg
— HBO (@HBO_UK) March 7, 2016
In order to build excitement for the start of season 6 of Game of Thrones, and to take advantage of Easter and the release of season 5 on DVD, HBO and London-based chocolatiers melt teamed up to produce this 60cm replica of a dragon egg, which was put on display in the Selfridges department store. The final piece took approximately 2 hours to assemble in a live demonstration, and fans could buy smaller eggs for a limited time from melt’s website.
Game of Cones
Another sweet marketing campaign inspired by Game of Thrones, Australian gelato company Gelato Messina launched a new flavour inspired by characters of the hit show every Monday for five weeks in the run up to the start of season 6. The company also teamed up with delivery service Foodora to get the product to customers.
Declan Lee, the co-owner of Gelato Messina summed up the campaign with refreshing candour: “I’d like to think there’s some great, magic marketing theory behind it, but the truth is we’re just all big Game of Thrones fans.”
Just across from Australia, New Zealand broadcaster SoHo launched this ingenious promotion for their hosting of season 4 of Game of Thrones. They erected a statue of Joffrey, one of the most hated characters in the series (which is really saying something), in a public square and attached it to a rope which was pulled tighter every time someone tweeted with the hashtag #bringdowntheking. The statue was eventually toppled after being used 875,000 times on Twitter.
Dragon bones on beach
We covered this in our “Experiential Marketing versus PR stunts” post, but it’s worth revisiting due to the scale and inventiveness of the stunt by UK-based streaming service Blinkbox (now known as the TalkTalk TV Store). Before the release of season 3 on its service, the company commissioned a 12-metre long dragon skull and left it on a beach in Dorset commonly known as the “Jurassic Coast”. The construction took two months, but paid off handsomely in brand awareness for Blinkbox.
Some Game of Thrones marketing stunts are simple and easy to produce, others, like Time Recruitment‘s Westeros Recruitment are impressively detailed and obviously took a lot of time, care and attention to produce. The site is incredibly detailed and full of jokes and references which fans will appreciate.