The eighth and final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones (GoT) has officially begun, and brands are using the opportunity for their own shot at the throne. Many brands are using GoT-themed promotions to capitalize on the hype for the last season, and GoT is happily using these promotions to keep its audience excited about the premiere, which aired on April 14. It’s a win-win for brands, GoT, and GoT fans. Here are some of the best GoT promotions on Twitter that contribute to the hype of the last fight for the throne.
Diageo: White Walker Whiskey
It wouldn’t be a Game of Thrones watch party without some White Walker Whiskey, or at least that’s what Diageo cleverly has fans thinking using its special-edition, single malt Scotch whiskey collection. The collection features different whiskeys, each themed on one of the show’s Houses of Westeros, as well as its military order, the Night’s Watch.
The White Walker edition of the brand’s Johnnie Walker whiskey plays up the GoT theme a step further by promoting that it’s best served straight from the freezer, using a high-quality, GoT-style image of the product and an ice-cold blue background. It’s hard not to get a chill just from looking at it.
To increase the promotion’s visibility to fans, the brand mentions the Game of Thrones account (@GameOfThrones) in the Tweet. The brand also increases the value of the promoted product by labeling it as “exclusive.” Creating exclusivity makes fans want the product even more for two reasons: the desire to own something limited in production and the desire to own something not everyone has. By making the whiskey “exclusive,” fans, after purchasing the product, feel like they’re in on an exciting secret or they’re part of an elite club.
Mountain Dew: The Ultimate Sacrifice
Mountain Dew got creative with video effects in its gif-like promotion of its “unbranded” cans in honor of the final GoT season. The video shows why these particular cans are special: when chilled, GoT character Ayra Stark’s kill list suddenly appears.
Using the GoT-inspired concept of making the ultimate sacrifice for the Throne, Mountain Dew invites fans on Twitter to share the sacrifices they would make using the hashtags #ACanHasNoName, #ForTheThrone, and #MTNDEWsweepstakes for the chance to win one of the limited edition “unbranded” Game of Thrones cans. By inviting fans to participate in a conversation on Twitter, Mountain Dew increases its post engagement for the promotion and also keeps the fans’ excitement alive. By encouraging fans to include the customized GoT hashtags in their responses, Mountain Dew increases its visibility on the social media platform: The more people use those tags, the higher the likelihood of the tags to appear on Twitter’s Trending section.
Oreo: Game of Cookies
Oreo kept it simple but clever with its GoT-themed cookies, which have the images of GoT houses. The ad shows four of these cookies with the names of each house listed underneath in GoT-styled text. But what really makes this promotion effective is Oreo’s play on the Game of Thrones hashtag. The brand created its own, #GameOfCookies, to engage its audience and direct them to oreo.com where they can learn more about the promotion and the products Oreo sells.
Like Mountain Dew, Oreo, too, increases its exposure by creating its own hashtag. But by pairing it with a normal hashtag (#ForTheThrone) relating to the series, Oreo ensures that fans will find the promotion, even if the customized one the brand created didn’t gain any momentum.
Adidas: Limited GoT-Edition Shoes
Adidas tapped into fans’ emotional ties to the show with six limited-edition pairs of shoes that, according to the Twitter promotion, were “inspired by the noble families and warring factions of the Seven Kingdoms and beyond The Wall.” The video showcases each GoT-detailed shoe against themed backgrounds while epic music played. The special effects and graphics surrounding each shoe excite fans and entice them to get their hands on a pair.
Urban Decay: Honoring the Strong Women of the Seven Kingdoms
Fans of the “strong women of the Seven Kingdoms” are lured into this stunning GoT promotion by makeup brand Urban Decay. The ominous video uses high-quality effects and textures to intrigue fans with the GoT fire-versus-ice concept. The video ends with an image of a GoT character wearing Urban Decay’s special-edition makeup, promoting products such as Arya Stark’s needle eyeshadow brushes, Vice lipstick, and Dracarys lip and cheek stain. This promotion is another good example of effectively triggering fans’ emotional ties to the show through appealing imagery and GoT language, “Worlds will collide,” as seen on the promotional video.
Aldi: GoT Characters Comparing Toilet Paper
Aldi gets a laugh from GoT fans with its toilet paper ad. The ad uses the clash of loyalties in the show to humorously parallel with consumers’ loyalty to a certain brand of toilet paper. The video takes place in a GoT-like environment with two characters sitting on toilets comparing its own label toilet paper with a branded version. The ad hits its peak of humor when a dragon breathes fire into the scene and the characters realize they are now stuck without any toilet paper at all. The ad hits its mark because it both intrigues fans with the GoT theme and holds their interest with humor.
Game of Thrones is a show that many love, and its season finale has had fans waiting impatiently. As these GoT lovers anxiously await the last installment of the fantasy franchise, brands step in with collaboration that benefit both themselves and the show: the brands include themselves in popular and trending conversation with fans, increasing their reach and relevance while the show, from these promotions, get fans hyped and excited for the finale.
Game of Thrones is coming to an end, and marketers have done well to win the throne in digital advertising.