Over the past 8 years as Game Of Thrones has grown in popularity to become the most viewed show on television, references and links to the show have appeared more and more in the world around us and the world of advertising has been no exception. I’ve collected a few of my favourite and most creative Game Of Thrones collaborations.

Aside from Starbucks landing themselves a priceless piece of accidental product placement in episode 4 of the final season of Game Of Thrones, there are a number of brands paying the ‘iron-price’ in order to cash in on the biggest show on television. From a simple piece of content like Red Bull’s Jon Snowboard to the high budget of Bud Light’s Super Bowl Ad. I am going to be highlighting a few examples of how brands are harnessing the popularity of the show to create some engaging ads and products for the passive viewer as well as the die-hard fans of the show.

The power of Mere Exposure - Opening credits re-imagined

The mere-exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things simply because they are familiar with them. By borrowing from memorable scenes brand can evoke a sense of familiarity and associate their message with this.

A few brands have capitalised on this effect by re-creating the opening credits of the show, bringing them closer to their market and building awareness for their brand amongst a vast audience. Subverting and re-hashing popular imagery in a creative way can become a very ‘sharable’ piece of content for your audience.

Oreo

One of the top and most impressive examples is Oreos stop motion style re-creation and possibly their biggest collaboration to date. This was along-side their four day run of GOT-themed Oreos prior to the start of the final season.

“What we’re doing is fully and wholeheartedly leaning into our brand purpose, which is that we believe in the power of playful spirit to bring people together…”

Justin Parnell, the senior director of Oreo

Hootsuite also took on the opening credits animation, with a solid reasoning for doing so that aligned to their core business core offering of uniting fragmented and battling social networks under one platform.

“At Hootsuite we’re big fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones and with the new season of GoT finally here we wanted to do our own rendition of the iconic opening titles. After all, uniting warring kingdoms is a story we know a thing or two about.

Giphy

Show references in Ads

Aside from the initial fun of seeing a reference from a show you’re watching out in the world, there’s also a lot to be said of that inclusive ‘in’ feeling of understanding the reference. Over the years there has been more than a few examples of these references all around us, and advertising has been no exception.

Tenor Gif

Sodastream

Sodastream have consistently used Game Of Thrones references in their ads.
This might come across as potentially alienating to some people but considering that we’re talking about the most watched show ever aired – it’s equally a great opportunity to get more people to notice your brand especially when used right to add value the brands message.

Mountain Dew

A lot of brands have brought out a limited edition product but none have been so bold as to do what Mountain Dew have done with their ‘A Can With No Name’.

Keeping up with the recent trends of #ForTheThrone, here’s what Mountain Dew had to say…

“For seven seasons, Game of Thrones fans have watched characters lie, steal, bleed, kill, and sacrifice everything for the Iron Throne. Today, MTN DEW makes the ultimate sacrifice For the Throne – its name. The brand will remove its iconic neon green “face” revealing a stark white, brandless can – ‘A Can Has No Name.’

This is a pretty deep reference to the show, so I won’t bore the disinterested with a drawn out explanation of what this means. (Though I am tempted.)

The exclusivity of Scarcity

As the saying goes, “we always want what we can’t have”. And that’s exactly what the scarcity heuristic is. It’s a mental shortcut that places value on items based on how easy it is to miss out on them. As consumers, we feel the effects of a loss more than a gain. So, the more difficult it is to get your hands on a particular item, the more value said item holds.

The hit show has been linked to an uncountable number of collaborations producing limited items such as these, so I’ve picked out some of my favourite.

Whisky

There are multiple GOT-inspired Whiskies out there. The one that caught my eye was Johnnie Walkers limited edition bottles of Johnnie ‘White’ Walker featuring an undead White Walker version of the iconic Johnnie Walker logo.

But there are a few others, including limited edition Batch 182: Game Of Thrones Single Malts

Eight whiskies, each from a different distillery, have been chosen to represent the seven Great Houses of Westeros and the Night’s Watch.

Adidas

Collaborating with Game Of Thrones, Adidas brought out a range of shoes inspired by the noble families and warring factions of the Seven Kingdoms.

The range has updated the Ultraboost trainer with prints, colors, and textures that represent some of the most popular houses and waring factions from the show. Each pair sports a house sigil on the tongue and, house words on the heel tag and colours to match.

The Adidas collaboration features 6 limited-edition unisex trainers.

Urban Decay Makeup

Urban Decay is makeup brand that is dedicated to being cruelty-free but they’ve also shown their dedication to the throne with a partnership with HBO to create the Urban Decay | Game of Thrones collection, the range is inspired by their favorite places in Westeros and the strong women of each of the Seven Kingdoms.

“From the shores of Dragonstone to the frozen lands beyond the Wall, this collection will let you create looks inspired by House Stark, House Targaryen, House Lannister, and the White Walkers.”

To learn more about what we do and to get a taste of the many behavioural biases we leverage, you can take a quick break from the seven kingdoms and dive in to our latest report on 7 Cognitive Biases You Can Leverage today.

By Matt Taylor

Junior Integrated Designer