5 Brands and Publishers Capitalizing on the Game of Thrones Finale Frenzy
By Bree Brouwer · April 14, 2019
The Game of Thrones finale is finally here, and the hype is real. While fans have been deliberating theories surrounding the show’s eighth and final season, brands and publishers decided they wanted in on the anticipation by releasing their own Game of Thrones-themed content.
The move is a smart one. Tentpole events, such as the series finale of a long-beloved TV show, are perfect opportunities for brands and publishers to spread their messages and reach more eyeballs, all while riding the wave of the event’s popularity.
When we dug into Game of Thrones videos (aka GoT) uploaded since January 2019, we found some of the most-watched content hailed from social accounts unrelated to the hit show or its parent property HBO. Instead, several brands and publishers created their own clips inspired by the show; in fact, four of the top five videos are from non-Game of Thrones accounts!
Brands and Publishers Debut Their Own Game of Thrones Finale Videos
Here are five notable examples of brands and publishers getting in on the hype around the Game of Thrones finale in a very smart way. Also included with each example is a key insight into how others can mimic these tentpole strategies. Let’s dive in!
It’s Craft Time: Casting a Brass Dragon Egg
Jellysmack property It’s Craft Time boasts the 2nd most-watched Game of Thrones clip since the start of this year with this February release of a DIY-er making a dragon egg out of melted brass. Sitting at a pretty 53.6M views, the clip is just 900K views behind the season 8 trailer released by the Game of Thrones YouTube channel. That’s an accomplishment for a publisher with no official ties to HBO or its hit TV show!
Takeaway: DIY, craft-based, and creative content related to a beloved pop culture phenomenon can resonate deeply with the right audience. Also, we chatted with Jellysmack about its success with digital video — check out the webinar here.
People Are Awesome: Featuring Real-Life Game of Thrones
A part of the Jukin Media network, People Are Awesome also placed in the top 5 most-viewed Game of Thrones clips to date this year. The digital publisher chose to stick with its theme of people doing incredible things, and, in early March, released a video full of skilled knife- and blade-handlers chopping up basically anything put in front of them. With 35.9M views, it’s currently the fourth most-watched Game of Thrones-related video of 2019.
Takeaway: It’s hard for viewers to pull their eyes away from impressive demonstrations of talent and finesse. Consider working in amazing feats from people around the world into video marketing surrounding a tentpole event.
Funny Memes: Making a Woman Mad, GoT-Style
Most video memes copy the fast-hitting messages of their image brethren by keeping durations short. Not this Game of Thrones-themed video uploaded in March by Funny Memes, which clocks in at a solid 3 minutes. The topic? A humorous take on what happens when you call the wrong woman the B-word, featuring the wrath of lead character Daenerys Targaryen. The video placed #5 with 34.4M views, claimed a solid 30-day view count of 32.6M, and was #8 in terms of overall engagement at 497K (when humor hits home, it hits home hard).
Takeaway: Humor is almost always a sure way to get a reaction out of audiences around the world, especially when it’s tied to a well-known piece of entertainment, acting talent, or tentpole event.
Craft Pop Plus: Creating a Glass Dragon Eye
Kudos to Jellysmack for getting in on the Game of Thrones finale hype early! The digital media giant appeared for a 2nd time in the top 20 most-viewed GoT clips since January for a clip from its Craft Pop Plus property. Back in early February, the publisher uploaded a 3 minute-long video capturing the creation of a glass dragon eye, which is now the sixteenth most-viewed Game of Thrones clip of 2019.
Takeaway: As noted earlier, crafts impress viewers who have an affinity towards the featured item or topic.
Mountain Dew: Recreating the Game of Thrones Theme Song
Beverage brand and HBO partner Mountain Dew displays how to do tentpole event video marketing correctly with its rendition of the Game of Thrones main title, released on April 2. Claiming 5.2M views and landing in the top 30, the video features a wide range of sports stars and musicians singing the theme song, all in a cappella right up until the last few seconds.
Takeaway: When brands have a big enough budget to enlist well-known celebrities, the ensuing content featuring them will likely pull in lots of attention. Pair this with a tentpole event, and you’ve got a winning digital video strategy.