‘Power resides where men believe it resides. It’s a trick, a shadow on the wall. And a very small man can cast a very large shadow.’- Lord Varys (A fictional character on Game of Thrones).

Game of Thrones, the world famous television series created by HBO by adapting the best-selling novel, A Song of Ice and Fire, written by George R.R Martin. The series has since become the most anticipated television series of all time. Pure genius, HBO. Pure genius.

The Brand

Game of Thrones is no ordinary television series. The television series is set in the fictional kingdom of Westeros in which seven royal families fight for the Iron Throne. Ever since the very first season, the series has grown and has won thirty-five Primetime Emmy Awards. The makers Game of Thrones also launched a game, Game of Thrones Ascent, which provides gamers the full experience of what it would be like living in Westeros.

Game of Thrones targets a multicultural audience, and encourages everyone who is enticed by the marketing efforts of HBO to engage with the television series. Game of Thrones is certainly not for the faint hearted, but is a show that is captivating, thrilling and exuberant.

The Shadow of The Dragon 

It follows you everywhere you go. Its presence is felt by anyone who can see it. The shadow of the dragon was the theme for season three of Game of Thrones’ integrated brand promotion campaign. This exceptionally creative and clever use of the dragon will surely make Khaleesi proud!

Look up! You might spot it!

Headquarters of HBO
HBO headquarters. Source: Daily Billboard Blog.



Shadow of the dragon on a billboard
Billboard with the shadow of Khaleesi’s Dragon. Source: Daily Billboard Blog.

It was put on the side of large skyscrapers with the most notable being the HBO headquarters. Billboards in different cities showcased the shadow of the dragon. No one could turn a blind eye to such a BOLD statement.

Take a ride with it.   

Shadow of the dragon on the side of a bus
Bus with the shadow of the dragon. Source: Peoples Choice Blog.

The dragon soared across cities as the shadow was cast on the side of buses in busy areas with Game of Thrones advertised on the side of the bus, including the release date of season three, adding to the anticipation of the hardcore fans of the show.

Read over it.

Shadow of the dragon on the New York Times
Shadow of the dragon cast on the New York Times. Source: Daily Billboard Blog.

A digital campaign made a shadow appear on the background of selected websites mimicking the shadow of the dragon. The shadow was also cast across two pages of the New York Times newspaper with headlines giving hints of what is to come in season three. There is no doubt that coffee had been spilled while reading through the New York Times.

Face it. 

Skull of the dragon in Jurassic
Skull of the dragon on Dorset Beach. Source: BBC America.

On Dorset beach, a large dragon skull was placed for the public to see. The jaw-dropping skull attracted the attention of many people, and sparked curiosity and excitement

Let’s talk about it. 

Poster of
One of the posters posted on social media. Source: Winteriscoming.net.

HBO released posters of twelve characters in the third season sparking curiosity about the story line. The posters were released on the official Game of Thrones Facebook page. Trailers were posted on the Game of Thrones YouTube channel with gripping visuals and background music that were used to give a sneak peek of scenes in the third season. These marketing efforts certainly got fans of the television series talking. Conversations were initiated on twitter by Game of Thrones posting the posters and pictures of scenes.  Fans started tweeting about the third season of Game of Thrones using the hashtag #GOT and #Season3 expressing their excitement and anticipation. On Facebook, Instagram and Twitter people started posting pictures of the newspapers, buses and billboards with the shadow of the dragon. And no sooner than later, the greatest television series was trending again, claiming the Iron Throne of social   media marketing.


The shadow in the Neelsie Student Center at the University of Stellenbosch.


We were highly impressed and in awe by the great job that HBO has done with its integrated brand promotion for Game of Thrones, we decided to bring the exuberance and enthrallment of Khaleesi’s dragon to the University of Stellenbosch. The students at the university enjoyed it and picked up a thing or two about the amazing marketing campaign for Season three.

The marketing campaign for Season three has certainly showed us how to deliver when it comes to marketing efforts.