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Industry TV Channels/Radio Stations and Programmes
Media Promo & PR
Market United States
Executive Creative Director Michael Monello
Creative Director Steve Coulson
Art Director Thomas Sherman
Copywriter Andrea Philips
Designer Dylan Warner
Producer Jen Larkan
Account Supervisor Zoey Taylor
Released February 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Experiential Marketing in a Promotional Campaign
Advertiser: HBO
Product/Service: TV SHOW
Date of First Appearance: Feb 26 2011
Entrant Company: CAMPFIRE, New York, USA
Executive Creative Director: Michael Monello (Campfire)
Creative Director: Steve Coulson (Campfire)
President: Jeremiah Rosen (Campfire)
Group Account Director: Marianne Raphael (Campfire)
Account Supervisor: Zoey Taylor (Campfire)
Head of Production: Jason Sutterfield (Campfire)
Senior Producer: Ryan McGrath (Campfire)
Producer: Jen Larkan (Campfire)
Associate Producer: Jakub Popadiuk (Campfire)
Copywriter: Andrea Philips (Campfire)
Puzzle Master: Eric Harshbarger (Campfire)
Art Director: Thomas Sherman (Campfire)
Designer: Dylan Warner (Campfire)
Chef: Craft Worldwide Holdings (Tom Colicchio)
Event Company: GoGorilla (GoGorilla)
Executive Vice President, Consumer Marketing: Courteney Monroe (HBO)
Vice President of Marketing: Chris Spadaccini (HBO)
Director of Consumer Marketing: Lindsey Hogan (HBO)
Advertising and Promotions: Brooke Stone (HBO)
Advertising and Promotions: Anthony D’Souza (HBO)
Media placement: n/a - n/a - n/a

Describe the objective of the promotion.
To raise awareness of Game of Thrones, HBO’s adaptation of George RR Martin’s epic fantasy novels, we created a series of five experiences based on the senses. The novels already had a passionate and connected fan base, so our strategy was to activate those fans and have them take to the streets to publicly broadcast their excitement. We decided to use food trucks to create an immersive experience of Westeros, the mythical world where Game of Thrones is set. Award-winning chef, Tom Colicchio, created signature dishes and regional cuisine to give fans, foodies and passers-by a taste of Westeros.

Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation.
To help us execute the ‘taste’ experience we chose Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio, a figure who appealed to HBO’s core audience. We explored the ‘flavor profiles’ of Game of Thrones resulting in eleven dishes representing Westeros, split into five regional menus. They were distributed free from branded food trucks in New York City and Los Angeles. Each day Tom Colicchio released a video announcing the menu, and we pushed out the secret location of the trucks through our branded Twitter feed and Facebook page. Fans, bloggers and mainstream press made the pilgrimage, and shared the experience with their audiences.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service.
The promotion spoke to the authenticity and quality of HBO’s production. This reassured fans of the novel that HBO would be faithful to the books they loved. The involvement of Tom Colicchio drew in a new audience that overlapped with HBO’s target audience. An authentic, high quality food experience, coupled with a social network scavenger hunt resulted in long lines of obsessive fans, who brought their enthusiasm for the show to the streets. As they waited in line, fans of the novels and foodies broadcast the experience with location check-ins, tweets, and videoblogs.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results.
The food trucks sold out every day of the promotion – 3,000 fans served.
Each day there were lines around the block, creating an intriguing spectacle for passers-by and the media.
Bloggers and photographers came every day to document the phenomenon, resulting in national and international press and 79.3 million impressions.
Conversation in social media peaked in the lead-up to the first episode, with 6.8 million US viewers combined for the season premiere.
Ratings were 57% higher than the premiere of HBO’s previous genre hit, True Blood.
The series was immediately renewed for a second season.