The larger than life scenes, murders, bloody tale of warring families and Jon Snow! Yes, we are talking about the Game of Thrones. Based on the George R.R Martin’s book series, Game of Thrones has stirred a worldwide phenomenon.
The comprehensive integrated marketing communication plan for Game of Thrones truly adds value by encapsulating a variety of communication discipline from general advertising, direct responses, digital media promotion and public relation campaigns. No wonder this remains another story to tell! (Duncan & Caywood 1996 in Kliatchko, 2005, p. 14).
Image: Integrated Marketing Communication schedule of Game of Thrones
How is Game of Thrones keeping its viewers hooked?
Game of Thrones has been able to affect the behavior of its consumers by building relationships, speaking with a single tone, using a lot of relevant contact points. (Shimp and Shimp, 2007) For example, Jon Snow was used on series 6 posters “to remind an audience of where we took them this season and the stakes of the next season”. (Hooton, 2016) Big brands can learn lessons from Game of Thrones marketing calendar, which is highly exuberant and filled with a number of events planned with detail.
Image:Jon Snow on Season 6 posters
It keeps its audiences engaged between episodes and especially within seasons just the way Target keeps you luring with its sales now and then. It has been able to influence the cognition and attitudes of its viewers which lead to actions that lead them to be hooked to the show. It has strategically laid out an extensive media blocking chart which demonstrates the numerous media channels that it engages in which is a good mix of continuous, occasional and seasonal marketing.
Video: Game of Thrones episode advert
Looking below at the Facebook post which is a great example of online content which is highly engaging as well as being informative. It is a strategic move to have a huge presence on social media platforms and vary in commerciality. The message is informative and simple while the hook is engaging ‘Rally the realm’ which shows the glimpse of dead (not really) Jon Snow. 200,000 people who liked and shared the post would agree with me. It stirs a huge word of mouth, especially among extraverted consumers. It is an epic example of exemplary ad designing mechanism which is cognitive (one sided). The Facebook post below can be categorized as ‘Drama ad’.
Image: A quirky post on Game of Thrones Facebook page
It’s an indispensable fact that high-resolution photographs and quotes tend to do well on an online networking channel. Game of Thrones takes it to another level consolidating the two for a double impact. According to a marketing research report, such pictures have 94% chances to be viewed. Game of Thrones designs ample of emotional ads which are packed with fear, humor and associative learning. The major bonus of social media platforms is that they have high ROIs based on Key Performance Indicators.
Image Source: A post on Game of Thrones Twitter account
Game of Thrones has recently collaborated with Spotify which allowed them to determine which Game of Thrones character their users are based on their playlist which has led to 15,000 mentions. #Spotifygameofthrones
Image: Game of Thrones digital marketing on Spotify
If you want to win the hearts and minds of viewers, it won’t be sufficient to concentrate on digital media alone. Game of Thrones realized exactly the same and has been able to provide clarity, consistency and maximum communication impact through all communication mediums.
Image: Game of Thrones advert in New York Times and Rolling Stone Magazine
When marketing has become the “architect of the buyer journey”, HBO has planned and executed multi-channel campaigns leaving no stone unturned. This makes Game of Thrones experience far more than just a 60-minute TV show every Sunday.
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List of References:
- Bullas, J. (2012).6 Powerful Reasons Why you Should include Images in your Marketing – Infographic. [online] Jeffbullas’s Blog. Available at: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/05/28/6-powerful-reasons-why-you-should-include-images-in-your-marketing-infographic/ [Accessed 7 May 2016].
- (2015).The Game Of Thrones Season 6 Teaser Trailer Will Get You Fired Up. [online] Available at: http://www.cinemablend.com/television/Game-Thrones-Season-6-Teaser-Trailer-Get-You-Fired-Up-103297.html [Accessed 7 May 2016].
- Hooton, C. (2016).HBO president explains why Jon Snow was on GoT season 6 poster, defends accusations of fan manipulation. [online] The Independent. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/game-of-thrones-season-6-hbo-president-explains-why-jon-snow-was-on-season-6-poster-defends-a6990606.html [Accessed 7 May 2016].
- Shimp, T. and Shimp, T. (2007).Advertising, promotion, and other aspects of integrated marketing communications. Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western.
- The Business Journals. (2016).What ‘Game of Thrones’ can teach you about integrated marketing – The Business Journals. [online] Available at: http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/growth-strategies/constant-contact/2013/11/integrated-marketing-game-of-thrones.html [Accessed 7 May 2016].
- Winter is Coming. (2016).Let’s talk about HBO’s marketing for Game of Thrones S6. [online] Available at: http://winteriscoming.net/2016/03/04/small-council-lets-talk-about-hbos-marketing-strategy-for-game-of-thrones-season-6/ [Accessed 7 May 2016].
- Iacobucci, D. (2014) Marketing Management (MM), 4th Edition, South-Western, Cenage Learning, Mason, Chapter 11, Advertising Messages and Marketing Communication, Chapter 12, Integrated Marketing Communications and Media Choices, and Chapter 13, Social Media.