HBO’s #ForTheThrone campaign heralded Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season with enough brand partnerships to fill an entire kingdom.
For seven seasons, Game of Thrones fans watched characters put their reputations and lives on the line for the good of their kingdoms. HBO turned that theme into a question for audiences—how far would you go for the throne? Brands, as it turned out, would go pretty far.
Secret Menu For Valyrian Speakers
The road to The Throne is covered in lies and secrets, but Shake Shack fans don’t have to kill anyone to access a secret menu. Visitors to the Madison Square Park Shake Shack in NYC can order two secret items—a spicy Dracarys Burger or a Dragon Glass shake. The only catch is that you have to order in Valyrian, a fictional language spoken by the dragon-loving race from Game of Thrones.
The secret menu will be available for a limited time—April 21 for the burger and May 21 for the shake, while supplies last. If your Valyrian is a bit rusty, don’t worry, as Shake Shack released a pronunciation guide.
Winter Is Coming To “West-Oreos”
Oreo released a limited edition pack of Game of Thrones-themed cookies, embossed to represent the four Great Houses still in the running, as well as the dreaded White Walkers.
The iconic Game of Thrones opening sequence was recreated with Oreo cookies and was used to unveil the partnership.
Makeup Fit For A Queen
Urban Decay is launching a collection of licensed beauty products inspired by Game of Thrones including an eyeshadow set with a pop-up iron throne. The color palettes feature names like “Lannister Red,” “Winter is Here” and “White Walker.” A highlight palette called “Queen of Dragons” has been embossed with the shape of dragon eggs.
Other items in the collection include themed lip/cheek stain, eyeliner, lipstick and make-up brushes made to look like Jon Snow’s Longclaw sword and Arya Stark’s Needle sword.
A Can With No Name
Inspired by Arya Stark training with a guild of assassins called the Faceless Men of Braavos, Mountain Dew sacrificed its own label “for the Throne.”
On the show, the Faceless Men are required to become “no one,” relinquishing their former identities. Mountain Dew’s campaign, “The Can With No Name,” features a blank, white can.
When chilled, the can reveals Arya’s kill list, including those who have already been crossed off—gearing fans up for who she will target in season eight.
Fans could only get a can by entering a Twitter giveaway or by finding a “Master of Coin” in Los Angeles or NYC. Finding one of these characters and whispering the password (found on Mountain Dew’s social channels) granted a coin, which could be inserted into a Game of Thrones vending machine to dispense a “nameless” can.
Mountain Dew’s sponsored athletes appeared in a separate video, singing along to the Game of Thrones with the word “Do” i.e. “Dew.”
Bleed For The Throne
HBO partnered with the American Red Cross to host an experiential cause marketing campaign at SXSW. Guests were invited into a large, decorated space, where they experienced recreations of the key moments from the show. The activation used audio, visual and physical interaction to put guests into the POV of characters Arya Stark, Cersei Lannister, Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister as they endured betrayal, humiliation and life and death challenges.
Inside, guests could offer their blood literally, as a donation to the American Red Cross. Outside the enclosed area, guests could explore an interactive war camp filled with over 80 costumed performers and 100 pages of scripted characters. Snapchat filters encouraged social sharing with augmented reality banners.
Time To Drink And Know Things
Bob Cabral Wine created official special Game of Thrones-inspired wines to commemorate the show’s final season. Thirsty fans can order the special bottles in a red wine blend or Chardonnay. Each comes with an elaborately decorated label and an optional free Game of Thrones corkscrew.
“A fan of Game of Thrones, Bob was challenged to craft wines to match the strength the characters and the terrain of their kingdoms,” says the Bob Cabral website. “Bob’s meticulousness and patience have yielded a wine that [embodies] the spirit of the HBO series.”
Diageo released a number of Game of Thrones spirits ahead of the final season. Johnnie Walker launched a “White Walker” run of Scotch whisky featuring a label that glows when put in the freezer—a nod to the glowing white walker eyes.
Single malts, each based on a Great House of Westeros, were also released by Diageo brands Lagavulin, Dalwhinnie and the Cardhu Distillery.
Ommegang Brewery launched a series of limited-edition beers, each inspired by a character on Game of Thrones—Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, Mother of Dragons, Hand of the Queen and the latest, King of the North.
During the Super Bowl, an ad for Bud Light took a turn for the foreboding when one of the jousting contestants turns out to be The Mountain.
A Tale Of Fire And Fancy Water
Visitors to Las Vegas this week may be surprised to find the Bellagio Fountains have been set on fire. A limited-run event in partnership with MGM Resorts uses projection, pyrotechnics and nearly 800 fountains to create Game of Thrones imagery, all set to a custom score by composer Ramin Djawadi.
The show runs nightly through April 13, creating images like an undead dragon, The Wall crashing down, falling snow and more.
White Walkers In AR
HBO and Magic Leap created an augmented reality encounter with a White Walker inside select AT&T flagship stores.
“The Dead Must Die: A Magic Leap Encounter” will place users in a confrontation with wights (the undead) and a standoff with a White Walker. The encounter is available through June 10 at select locations in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles
Baseball Game Of Thrones
Major League Baseball (MLB) teamed up with HBO to host Game of Thrones nights during the 2019 season. Visitors will receive a limited-edition tee-shirt and sit in specially-branded Game of Thrones sections.
Limited-edition bobbleheads have also gone on sale, offering mash-ups of MLB teams and Game of Thrones imagery. Each team has three bobbleheads—the team mascot sitting on the Iron Throne, an ice dragon bearing the team’s logo and the Night King holding a team’s baseball bat.
The continuing partnership was revealed through a trailer that likens pro ball players’ struggles with that of characters on the hit show, using the “chaos is a ladder” quote from Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish. The MLB video intercuts between show’s wall and the outfield wall on a baseball field.
Slaying In Style
Fashion house John Varvatos launched a Game of Thrones capsule collection that includes 11 pieces of hand-dyed leather outerwear, cross-over Henley, pants, messenger bag and three shirts—House Lannister, House Stark and the Three-Eyed Raven.
This collaboration is the only luxury fashion collaboration for Game of Thrones’ final season and marks the first time John Varvatos has partnered with a TV series.
John Varvatos invited fans to take their best Game of Thrones-esque selfie inside the designer’s boutiques for a chance to win a trip to Belfast, Ireland.
Handbag and accessory company Danielle Nicole released an 18-piece collection of accessories inspired by the show’s costumes and great warring houses. Backpacks, crossbody bags, pouches, wristlets and coin purses were created with materials like faux fur and fringe that display famous phrases like “Winter is Coming” and “Fire and Blood.”
You Can’t Run From Winter
Adidas Running partnered to create six limited-edition Ultraboost shoes inspired by warring factions on the show. Each shoe features “subtle references” to the kingdom it represents including a sigil on the tongue and motto on the heel tag.
The unisex designs include White Walker, House Stark, Night’s Watch, Lannister and two styles of Targaryen, the latter of which have already sold out.
The Iron Throne, To Go
For some fans, watching the action and betrayal isn’t enough, so HBO teamed up with different game studios to bring Westeros to them.
Game of Thrones: Conquest is a free-to-play MMO strategy game from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment that was developed by Turbine, Inc. Players become a lord or lady in Westeros who must develop their own strategy for conquering the Seven Kingdoms and claiming the Iron Throne. After creating their own house and sigil, players can battle over 120 iconic seats of power from the franchise.
In August, Devolver Digital released a version of Reigns based on Game of Thrones. Like its original game based on conquest, the new version features characters from HBO’s hit show like Jon Snow, Cersei Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen.
Have a Seat, Your Majesty
Sky UK partnered with Volvo to bring to the good people “7 Kingdoms Tour.”
The activation will be held in seven cities in the UK and Ireland and the event-goers will have the chance to take Insta-worthy pictures and videos in the majestic Game Of Thrones throne and leave with a dragon egg in hand.
There will also be on-air activations on “Thronecast–” the GoT talk show after the tour.
Night’s Watchmen Against The British Army
In this activation by Sky Atlantic to celebrate the final season of the show, the Night’s Watchmen deliver a dramatic sword performance, while the British Army’s Coldstream Guards perform a rendition of the Game of Thrones theme in London.
Wielding The Needle
A division of pan-European telecommunications, Now TV, is offering free tattoos to all the fans in a studio in Soho, London on April 16th and 17th.
The “skin engravings” will be performed by artist Lauren Winzer and some of the designs include the iconic throne, lion, wolf, dragon and phrases, “Winter Is Coming,” “At The Game Of Thrones You Win Or You Die” and “I Am The Sword In The Darkness.”