If I had to write a two-word marketing mantra for the digital age, it would be this:
Meeting your customers “where they are” is nothing new, but social media has taken it to new heights. If you aren’t everywhere, you aren’t anyone. And brand extensions are increasingly the leading way to accomplish this. We no longer promote a brand, we embed it.
The most anticipated TV event of 2019 is, without a doubt, the final season of Game of Thrones. That’s because HBO is putting on a masterclass in modern market penetration. The GoT brand is inescapable.
HBO’s brand partnerships and listening team are working overtime to ensure everybody knows…the finale is coming. Here’s a taste of the diversified array of products they’ve connected with:
The alcoholic beverage mogul, Diageo, has launched two lines of GoT inspired products…
Diageo Releases Winter Walker ‘Game Of Thrones’ Whisky
A Collection of ‘Game of Thrones’ Single Malts Is Coming
…and GoT has a longtime partnership with beer brewer, Ommegang.
Royal Reserve Collection: King In The North
(oh, and Bud Light)
Brands Teamed Up for Joint Super Bowl Spots
Even Oreo Cookie is getting in on the action.
Oreo to unveil Game of Thrones ‘loyalty pledge’ in its biggest collaboration of 2019
How ‘bout a little cross-promotion with Red Cross at SXSW?
GoT’s Partnership with Red Cross promotes blood donation
A new makeup collection with Urban Decay?
Urban Decay Is Launching a GoT Makeup Collection in Honor of the Final Season
Or an existing partnership with jewelry maker, Pyrrha?
Pyrrha X GoT
Let’s not forget the fashion circle…
Adidas Running Announces GoT Collaboration
GoT x John Varvatos Collection Drops Just in Time for Final Season Premiere
…and, of course, the entire social media landscape:
How 20 Brands Are Celebrating Game of Thrones on Social Media
HBO sends fans on a global scavenger hunt for 6 Iron Thrones The Best Game Of Thrones Websites
I cover this strategy more in my upcoming book, Beats, Bytes & Brands. But the bottom line is, GoT’s planning and hype generation, achieved through savvy, unusual collaborations, has helped the show reach me even though I’ve (gasp!) never seen an episode. I finally feel like I missed the boat.
Is there a lesson here for blockbuster album releases? Maybe the surprise drop isn’t the way, despite some recent success. Instead, building anticipation through the hard work of brand collaboration could be key to winning the next battle for attention.
It sure is for Game of Thrones. They’ve achieved ubiquity and created peer pressure on a scale we’ve not seen before. I know I, for one, am gonna party like Sansa come April 14th.