The seventh season of HBO’s Game of Thrones (GOT) premiered this past Sunday – sparking Reddit threads, conspiracy theories, and heated debates across the globe. The show, an addictive fantasy drama on HBO (for those who have been living under Casterly Rock), resumes where last season left off – in the wake of an epic fire with winter finally on its way.
Even if Jon Snow, Cersei Lannister, and Brienne of Tarth aren’t your cup o’ blackberry wine, you surely can appreciate the inventive and creative marketing tactics that proceeded the premiere, ones that take their cue straight from the show itself. Here are five key takeaways:
Taking it to the Streets
Game of Thrones isn’t known for its subtlety. Blood, gore, and soulless dead people often fill the screen and central London was no exception. To “surprise” and “delight” passersby, White Walkers rode in on horseback, patrolling the streets, taking selfies, and posing outside of Buckingham Palace. The takeaway? Put your most terrifying asset in an unexpected space where people can snap photos, share on social, and engage with a new frosty friend.
Find Your Allies
To expand their reach and make room for record breaking viewership (16.1 million), HBO teamed up with Hulu to give viewers more access on more platforms, on even more devices. It proved to be a wise decision – Lyanna Mormont + Jon Snow = GLORY (in bear skin coats). The more allies you have, the better.
We’ll Do It Live!
A few months prior to the premiere, HBO partnered with Facebook Live to host an event that promised to reveal details about the upcoming season. On Newsfeeds across the country, people watched with anticipation as fire melted ice to reveal the show’s premiere date. Turns out all you need to throw a party on Facebook is a block of ice and a blow torch.
Rally the Troops
Taking a page from their own book, the GOT marketing team continued working in tandem with Facebook Live, this time from the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere. Salty good looks, stunning gowns, and Europe’s finest strode the carpet, giving Facebook chills in the process. The lesson? Pull the cord and let people see the behind the curtain. A glimpse of star power doesn’t hurt. Also, Ed Sheeran.
Tease and Titillate
Bet that’s a line you never thought you’d read at Edelman. But! That’s exactly what the GOT marketing team did. At integral moments throughout early 2017, trailers dropped, teasers released, and behind the scenes looks gave fans and the Internet just enough to keep them chomping at the bit (you said it yourself, you haven’t fed them for seven days…).
Maggie Dodson is a Creative Network Copywriter in the New York office.