Cowe Consulting’s Marketing Map # ForTheThrone
Whether or not you are a fan of the show we have to admit that HBO and Game of Thrones have dominated the water cooler TV show talk for quite some time now. In this article, we will walk you through how GOT pulled off a marketing miracle and how you can take advantage of the tactics they followed.
One of the main lessons we learned from watching HBO’s masterful marketing was how to harness the power of partnerships. When done properly, your business can develop a partnership with ANYONE and the results can prove to be very rewarding. This could be partnering with an influencer who focuses on several areas of life, a business in an industry similar to yours, or even with a direct competitor!
A prime example of the power of partnerships is the recent collaboration between the Bellagio and HBO’s Game of Thrones. The highly-frequented hotel along the Vegas strip took advantage of their popular fountain show to meld The Song of Fire and Ice with water.
Farrow and Balls, a paint and wallpaper manufacturer and retailer located in England, had little to no connection with Game of Thrones. However, they found a way to join the game and made it amusing while staying on brand.
It is also important to note that HBO clearly did not partner with just one company but with countless brands all around the world. Here at Cowe Consulting, one of our favorite campaigns was by Bud Light. Released during the Super Bowl, these commercials were timed perfectly for maximum exposure, brilliantly hilarious, on brand (for both companies), and a bit cheeky, which is the key to igniting conversation.
As you probably know, the final season begins airing April 14th. This means we are currently witnessing HBO’s final marketing strategies come to life. One of their more recent, and successful, partnerships is with Oreo. Not only did they publish a stop animation version of the Game of Thrones opening credits, all made from Oreos, but they are also launching limited time only cookies featuring some of the story symbols. If you watch the video before eating, be prepared to get hungry!
While partnering with another brand can further your exposure and be extremely lucrative, it can also take a lot of time to build momentum. This applies to brands of all sizes and in every industry. For example, while Hootsuite (founded in 2008) is a younger company mostly unknown to those outside their industry, most of us quickly recognize more legacy brands like Domino’s (1960) and Clorox (1913). Regardless of their previous public prominence, all three brands found value in joining the marketing fight #ForTheThrone.
— Domino’s Pizza UK (@Dominos_UK) April 22, 2016
*Side note: from one marketing company to another, major props to Hootsuite for an awesome video!*
Earlier we mentioned the possibility of partnering with brands you could consider competition and we weren’t joking. When structured properly, a campaign linked by competing brands can truly benefit both sides. House of Cards, saw their opportunity in 2016 and used it.
Obviously, growing reach and profit are the main goals with marketing and there is no better way to connect with your audience than through emotion. Nonprofit organizations have a proven method for connecting with our deeper feelings as a marketing tool. As a global organization with huge influence HBO realized the power and importance of working with philanthropies. They have taken full advantage of the incredibly graphic world that they have created and turned it into yet another successful partnership. In 43 states across the country, HBO and the American Red Cross have co-hosted Game of Thrones themed blood drives. But “Bleed for the Throne” is more than a blood drive! It is described as “an immersive experience where fans will be able to step into the otherworldly kingdoms of Westeros and interact with key plotlines from the series, walking in the shoes of those who have bled in seasons past.” Talk about taking your marketing to the next level!
We know – the marketing world can be complete chaos. But do not fear, “chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder”. After watching HBO’s strategy over the past few years, it is clear that one of the most important components for running a successful marketing campaign is creativity in partnerships. When we work together, we can accomplish anything. Yes, I mean anything.
If you need help developing a kick-ass campaign, with or without Game of Thrones references, you can reach us at (800) 527-3646 or cowe.co