In recent years, few television or movie series have been able to replicate the success of ‘Game Of Thrones’. From pulling in millions of viewers every episode to generating billions of dollars’ worth of revenues.
When George R.R. Martin had written the series, he could never have imagined what his creation would evolve into. HBO has been credited with weaving one of the most masterful and imaginative fantasy drama series ever.
However, from a marketing perspective, it is important to understand the dynamics behind it all. Even though the technical aspects of the show were marvelous, it had to be supported by strong digital marketing.
In this article, we will look at why Game Of Thrones Marketing Lessons needs to be analyzed. We will specifically be looking at Digital Marketing lessons.
Digital Marketing Lessons from Game Of Thrones
If you are someone who had been following the series, you will remember the digital campaigns before every series would begin. The exercise concentrated on creating hype, buzz and generating curiosity before the series have begun.
The marketers behind HBO’s greatest TV series concentrated on Social Media and YouTube. They focussed in a way, which not seen before. This included sharing powerful imagery outlining the intent of the coming series on different mediums.
Digital teams used rich behind-the-scenes shots and social profiles of actors to give glimpses. However, the biggest and most interesting campaign was an off-ground activation before the last season of the series.
The core of the last season (8) was a war between the living and the dead. London saw an army of ‘WhiteWalkers’ walking the streets. This was amply supported by a string digital amplification of the same.
How Game Of Thrones used Social Media effectively
‘Winter Is Coming’!
Can you imagine the number of times this hashtag has been shared on social media?
A casual check on Instagram states that the hashtag has been used nearly 8 million times!
Every aspect of the show on social media was a well-planned creative campaign. The digital team behind the show made it a point to build engaging relationships on social media.
This also included the social teams of all the actors. How they were engaging with their fans was very crucial to the social media success of the show. Having numerous actors, plots and subplots meant that everyone had their own fan base.
This fan base would do all the promotion on behalf of the show’s actors, and ultimately the show itself. Can you imagine the fan base of Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion or even someone so hated like Cersei Lannister?
The creators of the show did a great job of taking the major characters right until the fag end of the show. They also managed to create a trifecta of sorts leading to the finale. While this kept social media buzzing on tenterhooks, it leads to massive engagement.
The Meme Wars on Game Of Thrones
No other shows have been turned into as many memes as Game Of Thrones has.
We are talking about millions of memes, being shared billions of times on social media. The social media and the digital teams of the show should be given due credit when it comes to the memes.
Many digital experts are of the view, that the show was in many ways the start of the Meme Culture on digital. This not only helps in increasing the audience base of the show but also gave it a highly creative edge.
At this stage, one should mention that being successful has its merits. Being a highly reputed and huge property in itself, every brand wanted to piggyback. You would remember how some of the biggest brands were using GoT memes for their social media.
This was a win-win situation for both the brand and the GoT team. Not only did this result in billions of dollars of free advertising, but it also helped both the entities in unforeseen ways.
Remember the Starbucks Cup, which was left on the table by Daenerys in the last season? According to the Business Insider, one split second scene generated $2 Billion USD worth of free publicity for Starbucks!
What kind of communication do audiences crave on Digital and Social Media?
Every social media expert or digital marketer should pay attention to this section of the article. When it comes to GoT, there is a need to concentrate on ‘communication’.
In this section, we will look at three top properties that foster the right kind of communication on digital and social media-
Every digital campaign should have a core section dedicated to generating the hype. This involves open-ended communication with audiences, leaving it open for them to interpret. When people have opinions, they are the most expressive and engaging.
Get on the Trending bandwagon
Every hashtag started by GoT started trending at Number 1 every single time. This was because multiple creatives amplified this hashtag. For example, we had memes, actor social media takeovers, Influencer Marketing and other social strategies.
Post campaign follow-ups on Digital and Social Media
When the season ended, the hype did not die down. This was because the team started several digital communications with fan accounts on social media. The preparation for the next season was also underway at the end of the previous season.
GoT was a cult! We are lucky that we have been brought up in a generation, which saw GoT. The emotional connection with the characters made us keep saying, ‘I have been there’. The conflicts between right and wrong, duties and responsibilities, meant the relatability factor was there.
Add to this heady concoction, sex, drama, music, wars, blood and gore and you have a combination that you cannot go wrong with. You can watch GoT as a normal human being and learn hundreds of things.
On the other hand, you can watch GoT from the perspective of a marketer and add to your skillset. Many critics point out that the last season of the GoT was not able to live up the expectations.
However, we should point out that the expectations were set by us, not by the show. The pedestal on which the show has been placed would have made any closing elicit the same reaction.