Marketing based on “Game of Thrones”: seize the market and don’t forget to buy Instagram likes!

Marketing surrounds us on every corner. You apply for a job – you sell yourself and your skills. You spend hours surfing on YouTube, share a link with your friends taking part in someone’s promotion… Who would have thought ten years ago that people will buy Instagram likes instead of sugar and TV show characters will be able to impart our marketing tools? Are you ready to develop the strategy according to “Game of Thrones” rules?

Capitalize on the strongest points

Employing strengths is beneficial in marketing as well as in everyday life. Let’s look at a random businessman. If he is great in developing long-term strategies, let him deal with this.  The second-in-command will be responsible for the rest routine. Or maybe he is a brilliant negotiator? Communicating with large clients and partners should be his task while delegating everything else.

In the “Game of Thrones” each protagonist knows his value, nurture and monetize their strongest sides. Think of Margaery Tyrell. Although she is not stupid the main upper hand of this red haired hottie is her attractiveness. Margaery knew the power of her beauty and became the king’s wife. She wrapped poor Tommen around her finger and he loved her even more than kittens. Unimaginable!

Game of Thrones

Try demarketing

And vice versa: if the demand for goods increases promptly – hold your horses, cool down, take a time-out. Otherwise, the consequences may be unpredictable. Arya Stark restrained her growing femininity on purpose. First, she was afraid of being discovered, then out of habit. As a result, everyone forgot what Ned Stark’s youngest daughter looks like and out of the blue she appeared to hit back. For mom, for dad, for brothers!



Cooperate with partners! Cross marketing takes place when the cuckoo praises the rooster for praising the cuckoo. Creating a tandem makes both of them twice as strong. For example, influencers get more insta views by cooperating with popular brands making benefits for both.

In “Game of Thrones”, the Lannisters unite with the Tyrells to keep the power together. Profit for the Lannisters is clear – in the case of the friend’s victory the ally will take the Throne, which means promising future. Well, the Tyrells from time immemorial were under the protection of the strongest. So, both parties profit from this cooperation.


And comprehensive promotion

Moreover, the promotion that literally means movement. Throughout all the seven seasons representatives of different clans met in the capital of the kingdom to battle. The same situation in marketing: you need to promote your products and services on all fronts. Using all the available channels in synergy you will reach the maximum effect. This makes answering Instagram comments as important as SEO-optimization and contextual advertising.

Intrigue and Conquer

Launching a new product must be warmed up with intrigue or scandal. Consumers should be dying of impatience before the product is manufactured. Take a look at … no, not Reebok. But the Starks!  As the seasons went on, the Starks were constantly eradicated, but each time one of them pointedly repeated: “Winter is coming.” And the audience languished in anticipation of what this might mean and what will happen in winter.

Or Jon Snow at the end of the fifth season – was he alive or dead? This intrigue was used in numerous advertising campaigns. Russian bank, for example, has released a special card with prints from the TV show. The main slogan of this campaign was: “Is Jon Snow alive?” Can you imagine how many views for Instagram they gained?

views for Instagram

Study the habits of partners

Or better to say –– dive into psychology. Analyzing the motives of other people and understanding why they acted this way and not otherwise is exciting, isn’t it? Why do people buy instagram likes, snooze their alarm for 10 times or sing while driving?

But Cersei Lannister didn’t study psychoanalysis for sure. Being an experienced intriguer, she approached useful people, lured and entrapped them. Unfortunately, the rascal overlooked that “in the game of thrones even the most insignificant figures are endowed with their own will and free to violate the course that was invented for them” as Petyr Baelish said.

Thus, she slipped up while she was playing with His Sparrow. And all because she did not see through the motives of the gray cardinal. He wanted power as much as then she did. As a result, getting in prison and having an exciting walk through the city.

Look at Viserys Targaryen. Blonde pretty-boy, being disdainful to the cavemen, underestimated his potential partners. The Dothraki were ready to take over the Iron Throne, but they obviously didn’t intend to put up with his narcissistic antics. The result – a beautiful crown on the Visery’s head.


Spread creative content

Unusual formats go great in marketing. The reason is clear – your audience is eager to be surprised from time to time. Entertaining content is the easiest way to get Instagram views. Do like Jon Snow! For many years, the Night Watch warriors were afraid of wildings. Nevertheless, he was creative and brave enough to befriend two clans. As a result, he met his love and supplied the Watch with additional fighters. After all, everything goes in the battle with White Walkers.

White Walkers

When in Rome, do as Romans do

In the first season, brutal Ned Stark repeated a typical mistake of marketing newbies. Drawn by a sense of justice, he broke into the King’s Landing imposing his rules. That is exactly how newcomers look like entering an unfamiliar market. The result is usually don’t meet the expectations. First of all, analyze your target audience, understand it’s needs, explore what do competitors offer on the market. For the first time, you should look around and join the tribe, and act only afterward. Otherwise, there will definitely stumble onto some lousy Joffrey who has the power and makes tough decisions. And the head will fly off the shoulders.

Ned Stark

Develop a strategy

For many years, the chief schemer of the Seven Kingdoms, Petyr Baelysh, has been waiting for the execution of his plan. This sly one didn’t do anything spontaneously, without purpose. He was weaving his witty web like a spider in order to achieve the goal and gain the Iron Throne. Marrying a half-crazy Lisa, custody of Sansa, fostering the Tyrells and the Lannister’s cooperation – all these actions link in a chain. More precisely, the steps of one staircase which Petyr discussed with Varys:

“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some, are given a chance to climb. They refuse, they cling to the realm or the gods or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”

Apply Call-to-action – for the Motherland, for Stannis!

All the protagonists use this universal marketing tool in every season of the “Game”. In almost every episode, somebody raises his sword and announces Call-to-action. He or she encourages to attack, for his homeland, for Stannis. Do you remember the rules of an effective CTA? Informational content, persuasiveness, clarity and time limit (do it immediately!). Highlight the value for the audience and repeat for the better effect. For example: “Want to become IG influencer? Buy Instagram likes with 50% discount within 24 hours!”.

IG influencer

Use referral marketing

It’s a great idea to make your own clients ambassadors of the brand, so that according to their recommendations more and more new members will join your sect. The army of Daenerys was famous throughout the Kingdom, the warriors listened to legends and dreamed of serving under the leadership of the blonde Amazon. A significant role in this was played by poor Jorah Mormont, whom Daenerys kicked out in disgrace. Perhaps this is the most loyal ambassador, who tirelessly told the story of the dragon troops he met on the way.

Jorah Mormont


A brand or an entrepreneur who is stuck in the past and is not going to adapt is dull. The world is full of new trends that are spread lightning fast due to social media.

Look at Jaime Lannister! At the beginning of the first season, the queen’s brother performs as a notorious bastard. Caught making love to his own sister, he throws a curious boy out of the window in cold blood.

But in the third season, Jaime changes! Probably, a severed hand works wonders, and the troll turns into a beautiful elf. His new image makes the audience forget all the dreadful actions. Now he is a courageous fair warrior. Full reload of the personal brand!

Jaime Lannister

Size isn’t everything

We refer to Tyrion. Charming dwarf proves that technical features of the product aren’t of great importance. In other words, you can sell anything (of any size, color, and value), the main thing is perfect service. Always keep in mind how many women loved Tyrion, and weep.


Benefit with microblogging

Bethink how chubby Varis entangled the entire King’s Landing with a network of informers. Intelligencers reported him on every little thing that was going on in the Kingdom. Such birds are microbloggers at its core. Cooperation with these guys will cost you less compared to the top-spun bloggers, it serves as a good source of statistics as well as iglikes. Microbloggers gained a permanent and loyal audience. What is crucial, they supply you with specific and detailed data about their followers,  namely, your potential customers. Just take and use wisely!

A few words about product placement

A new episode of “Game of Thrones” was released last Monday. Usually, the community discusses special effects, plot twists right after the release. But this episode was remarkable for a different reason, which hooked even those who aren’t into the series.

A paper cup with a logo reminding of the Starbucks logo got in the shot. A screenshot with this glass created hype in all social networks, it has instantly become a viral topic.


The directors of the TV show admitted that it was a blooper. As they claimed, they just forgot to remove the cup and it appeared in the shot. The scene was edited quickly (technology works wonders) and reloaded on the HBO official website. At the same time, it was announced that the drink was bought not in Starbucks, but at some kind of coffee shop next to the set. HBO commented on the blooper sarcastically:

“The latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea ”

That might have been the end of the story if we were talking about a middling drama. But this is “Game of Thrones” is considered the most popular TV project of the time.

A shot with a cup has become a local meme in a community of moviegoers. They discussed the error in TV series groups, on movie and lifestyle sites. Want to make sure? Google “starbucks game of thrones.”

The Critical Mention (service which tracks brand’s references in media) has estimated that since the release of the series, the Starbucks query has been mentioned in conjunction with the Game of Thrones query more than 10.6 thousand times. Another service, Talkwalker, estimated similar references in social networks as 193 thousand.

Marketers of Hollywood Branded, specializing in PR-technologies in the film industry, calculated:

“Informational hype with a cup brought $ 2.3 billion to Starbucks”

The head of the company, Stacy Jones, agreed that this is just the top of the iceberg. Potential profits can be even higher. This figure is made up not only of the sold coffee cups. It will have an impact on the stock price of Starbucks as well.

Stacy Jones

As the situation is viewed in the media: the brand was promoted on the coolest TV series of modernity in a completely natural way.

Such advertising is not designed to increase brand awareness. Only the market giants can afford such tricks. The main goal of the tool is to increase the value of products in the consumer’s minds. Cool guy Tony Stark, millions of men around the world strive to be like him. He drives an Audi. The icon of style of the 2000’s Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex and the City” trampled on Manhattan in Manolo Blahnik shoes. Consumer’s psychology works like pattern: a cool and successful character uses this product. I also want to be successful and popular, so I need it either.

Product placement is effective if it is not too obsessive. That’s exactly what happens on the market now. Instead of stimulating the interest among the target audience, aggressive product placement causes disillusion about the brand.

Simply pushing products or brand logo in a shot is no longer effective. But Starbucks and “Game of Thrones” proved that the tool works if thinly veiled.

Hopefully, these marketing games will be applicable to your business and will help your brand to remain in demand.

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