Sunday's premiere of the new HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones may have drawn relatively moderate numbers but don’t blame its marketing agency.
Campfire, which specializes in bespoke marketing that blends physical and digital elements, says it surpassed all its targets for an elaborate campaign to drive buzz about the show ahead of its launch.
The firm is still calculating the total number of digital impressions but anticipates it will far exceed its 10 million benchmark. A microsite based on the show drew roughly 186,000 uniques, and the show's Facebook netted approximately 130,000 new fans.
The promotional push culminated in early April with celebrity chef Tom Colicchio serving up a Game-of-Thrones style menu from food trucks in New York and then Los Angeles. That stunt aimed to reach audiences beyond the built-in base of George R.R. Martin enthusiasts. But it also tied into a months-long, puzzle-based online game that tapped hardcore fans to amplify the brand's message through social media. "It kind of percolated up, so when the mass marketing really hit, there was already a bedrock of conversation," said Steve Coulson, the creative director on the project.
The show's premier drew 2.2 million viewers, with 4.2 million total over three showings the first night. While that's not a weak showing, it's significantly smaller than other HBO launches. Still, the network opted to promptly greenlight the show for a second season.