A focus group marketing research for Game of Thrones conducted by Schlessinger Associates took place yesterday in NYC, and our reader The Winter Rose was one of the participants, together with her husband. They have a full report over at their blog, The Princess and the Warlock. The participants were divided into two groups of 9 females and 8 males, all screened beforehand to be real fans of the series. The main interview was conducted separately for the two groups, which were not shown any footage or concept art, but rather discussed their opinions of the series as a whole, the characters, their likes and dislikes. Specifically concerning the adaptation were questions about the necessary elements to retain, and what extra materials the participants wish to see included in the DVD’s or on HBO’s website. Here follow a few extracts of the most interesting bits:
- Both groups mentioned that the detail in the world was a big factor in what makes the series stand out. Everyone seemed to agree that the wealth of history really helped make it a believable setting. The stylized POV chapters were another huge draw for everyone since they allow for multiple perspectives and the chance to get inside different characters minds. Other things mentioned in both groups were the witty dialogue and dynamic characters. As for characters, it appears that Tyrion was the favorite in both groups. Both groups spent a decent amount of time speaking about him, followed by Sansa, who divided the groups into Sansa fans and Sansa haters. For both Tyrion and Sansa, there was a lot of discussion generated on their motivations and what makes them so interesting to the readers.
- After characters were discussed, our focus group leader asked us what kind of extra features we would like to see included in either the DVDs or extra feature section on HBO. Both groups mentioned features on fight choreography, costume design, character histories, family trees, character profiles and flashbacks (though the guys said that they would actually prefer to have the flashbacks in the actual show and not as extras). The guys also requested maps while the ladies mentioned detailed looks into the Wall and the various castles.
- The ladies group was also asked for words of wisdom on things we felt must be present in the show or things that should not be present in the show in order to make the adaptation work. The ladies mentioned that the most important thing was for the overall tone and theme to remain the same as well as the characters personalities and motivations. All the ladies agreed that changing core parts of characters would really upset them. Additionally, the ladies also requested that the appearance of the characters be consistent with the descriptions in the book since families and bloodlines are an important factor in the series.
The Winter Rose let us know that Winter Is Coming was mentioned as everyone’s favorite source of information for the HBO series. Very nice to hear that, very nice indeed.
Hear Me Roar: We are glad to have this great report which gives us some idea as to what HBO’s marketing strategy may be for the show. Looking forward to see which suggestions about the extra features they are going to use. I can say the focus group seems to have been well chosen – they definitely represent my opinions about the series and the adaptation, and I dare say reflect the general consensus on these issues shared by the ASoIaF fandom.
Thanks again, The Winter Rose!
UPDATE: Our friends over at Westeros provide another report with some additional info.