Two cents blog

Brands capitalise on the coming of winter

by Ava Hawes on 24 July 2017

I rarely sit down to watch a television episode. Even more rarely do I sit down with a group of friends to watch an entire episode of television. Our always on lifestyle – using multiple screens, getting multiple messages, from multiple people – has meant that work goes where we go and we no longer ‘clock off’ when we leave the office. This lack of shared ‘together’ time at home is definitely affecting the time that people give to the good old TV.

However, there are exceptions! There are some TV shows that get entire households onto the couch, nudging each other with anticipation from the very first scene. Game of Thrones (GoT) is one of them.

Last Monday night, my household sat down after enjoying a hearty winter meal to enjoy the first episode of the seventh season. As we hit play, my phone buzzed with a message.

Winter is coming. (Foodora)

As the first scenes opens, I can’t help but think it’s funny how a brand like Foodora is jumping on the Game of Thrones bandwagon, trying to create a ‘genuine’ connection with me. It’s also funny that a text message from a food delivery app inspired me to write this blog post, as last week’s GoT episode was the first full episode I’ve ever seen.

Whilst I’ve seen brands in the past looking to capitalise on GoT, I’ve never really understood the connection (the penny around “winter is coming’ literally dropped last Monday). However, over the past week whilst researching for this post, it’s become apparent just how many brands have invested in the GoT cultural phenomenon.

Up there in investment is Tourism Ireland. Their latest project in celebration of GoT is a 250-foot tapestry, the stories of season one through to season 6 has been woven from top to bottom, revealing incredible detail about the hero characters and their defining moments. The tapestry hangs in Belfast’s Ulster Museum and Tourism Ireland has started to share sections of the tapestry via their social media page. This is TI’s second GoT’s instalment; ‘Doors of Thrones’ was the first, which saw six trees carved into elaborate doors each reflective of one GoT season. Will a GoT tapestry change the tide of Irish tourism? I suppose only time will tell.

A universal truth of GoT (I am coming to learn) is that there are too many and sometimes irrelevant characters that are introduced only to die a truly terrible death in the next episode. To help fans keep up with the latest plot twist Catch Digital, a British digital agency, created GoTBot. Filled with details from the books and television show, GoTBot is the perfect way to catch-up on what has happened in the last episode or remind oneself of a particular character’s sordid past. Whilst GoTBot was created from common Google searches, its AI platform enables it to continue learning from user interaction. I will definitely be using this little guy during episode 2 tonight!

On a smaller scale, Messina has announced that they will be releasing a new flavour for the first five weeks in honour of GoT season seven.  They have even teamed up with Foodora to ensure that you do not have to miss a minute of an episode whilst out getting ice cream! By the way, this week’s flavour is “Hodor” a peanut and milk chocolate gelato with caramel brownie and caramel fudge.

These are just a selection of the latest brands to piggyback off the Game of Thrones platform. I guess as I catch up on six seasons of content, I’ll have more and more brands acting like they know me in order to “connect”.

Do you have a favourite GoT branded moment? Share it below!

Ava Hawes is an Account Manager at BCM

- Paul on July 26

Great post Ava. Brands tapping into popular culture is certainly not new but agencies and marketers are getting better at it. Being topical can make a brand feel in touch and very relevant for consumers. In the midst of all the marketing noise this can be a very effective strategy.

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