It’s safe to say that the eagerly anticipated premiere of “Game of Thrones’” eighth and final season is a significant cultural moment. So, it’s no surprise that brands have jumped aboard the dragon wagon to capitalize on the hype. From a search for icy-white Mountain Dew cans that reveal Arya Stark’s kill list when chilled to HBO’s own global scavenger hunt for hidden Iron Throne replicas, GoT-themed marketing and experiences abound. Here’s a look at how HBO and other brands are engaging consumers in experiential marketing leading up to the final season’s April 14 debut.
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At HBO’s SXSW activation, attendees were treated to a rendition of the series’ famous theme song from a live orchestra and choir.
Using its multi-phased campaign platform #ForTheThrone as an anchor, the network has asked fans—and brands—how far they will go for the throne as the season premiere approaches. The campaign’s website features a trio of calls-to-action: “bleed,” “quest” and “create.” Fans were able to “bleed” for the throne by donating blood at HBO’s immersive experience at SXSW, March 7-9, or through its national blood donation campaign the series launched in partnership with the American Red Cross (Giant Spoon and Droga5 handled).
GoT fans across the country who dressed up as the series’ characters and gave blood were entered in a contest to win a trip to the season eight world premiere. Moreover, The American Red Cross announced April 1 that it’s continuing the partnership with HBO by giving fans and donors the chance to win a full-size Iron Throne.
“Our primary goal in this campaign, contrary to most experiential activations, wasn’t about impressions or clicks or views—it was about lives saved. One pint of blood affects three people,” says Steven Cardwell, director-program marketing at HBO. “‘Game of Thrones’ is about sacrifice and devotion and the new season preparing for the Great War. So, the idea is to put the testament and will of our fans to the greatest test. And what is that sacrifice? It’s blood.”
Fans could embark on a “quest” for the throne by participating in a stunt scavenger hunt for six replicas of The Iron Throne planted in remote locations across the globe. The only clues that gave insight into their whereabouts were 360-degree videos on its microsite, each an hour long, starring the lone throne in a remote clime with very few surroundings details. Fans who discovered them and tweeted about them were featured on the “Game of Thrones” twitter feed.
Locations of the thrones included Spain, Sweden, Brazil, Canada, the UK and New York. The latter was teased with the clue, “A new …read more