Marketing

HBO gets clever in advertising season 3

Readers of one of the biggest newspapers in the US, the New York Times, were treated to quite a surprise today while thumbing through their Monday edition. Dragons!

There have also been reports that dragons may be flying about IMDb.com as well…

After the break, we have the super hi-res, non-watermarked version of the season three poster, for your viewing pleasure.


Game of Thrones S3 Key Art

92 Comments

  • It’s weird that they’re advertising so much about dragons though (the dragon shot in the trailer was pretty long too), since they shouldn’t be a huge part of the season.

  • Teproc:
    It’s weird that they’re advertising so much about dragons though (the dragon shot in the trailer was pretty long too), since they shouldn’t be a huge part of the season.

    They’re likely taking attention away from Robb’s gang.

  • As I said in a different post, I don’t like it. It is kind of an obnoxious ad for anyone who is reading the New York Times.

  • I so wanted the tag line for the season to be ‘A Storm is Coming’ or ‘Prepare for the Storm’

  • JamesL,

    I’d fully agree if you but If you notice the ad is placed in the Entertainment section. It’s not on the front page, World, Local, Sports or Financial Pages, the places where it would be overtly intrusive. It’s in the section that most people deem trivial.

  • Dragons are the most feared beings in that world, so a woman thinks that the threat of seeing their shadows on your lands would be a HUGE fear in that world. So, the shadow of one on advertising makes sense, though is not as visually thrilling as some previous images have been. As they become more important in the plot perhaps using the dragon image will make sense? Hard to tell before the fact, it is growing on this woman but would prefer if it was a dire wolf shadow! Nevermind, a direwolf shadow is not as distinct as the dragon shadow, with those wings there can be no doubt what it is. A direwolf shadow might be taken for a dog?

  • I dont think the seasons necessaraly need to have tag lines any more. Sure “Winter Is Coming” was a great hook for season 1 but these days I would say that unless someone has been living in a cave for the last year the general public have a pretty good idea of what Game Of Thrones is without needing to see tag lines on marketing material. So yeah it gives us fans something cool to talk about but I would not be suprised if HBO decide not to bother with a tag line and just go with the straight up route of using “Game Of Thrones” on the advertising. Overall they dont really have that much of a purpose.

  • JamesL,

    Oh well good on them then! :-)

    As I said on Facebook…I knew something was up for this marketing strategy. They must have hired Don Draper this season!

  • How is the New York Times the biggest? It’s third in the US by circulation behind the WSJ and USA Today. It’s plausible to call it the most influential, and it might have the the most reporters or some such, but it’s not really the biggest.

  • This being pretty damn clever and cool doesn’t make the poster any better.

    That said, this is pretty damn clever and cool.

  • Watson:
    How is the New York Times the biggest? It’s third in the US by circulation behind the WSJ and USA Today. It’s plausible to call it the most influential, and it might have the the most reporters or some such, but it’s not really the biggest.

    The media is biased towards NY/NYC.

  • are we getting a “line” this season??? “a storm is coming” is currently being used for History channels Vikings series

  • Awesome!

    All HBO needs to do now is release some new and updated “Pledge Your Alligence” trailers to get us all throwing up our house gang signs…

    House Stark, what! *throws up gang sign*

    Check out this video on YouTube:http://youtu.be/9cqABojhqr4

  • I’d assume the day after the Oscars is one of the most read days for the NYT Entertainment section, and maybe one of the biggest days for imdb.com traffic, so the campaign is shaping up to be very smart all around

  • Is this poster going up in Times Square? It needs to go up in Times Square and that dragon needs to be bigger! I remember being in Times Square in 2011 and “The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo” posters were everywhere (and Lisbeth Salander didn’t even have a dragon!). She got to have Daniel Craig though and that’s a nice consolation prize :)

  • Apparently all the articles relate to the game of thrones universe so much for the great complaint of how readers would be distracted.

  • Well, they want us to put our attentions to the Dragons instead of the deaths they are going to do this season. Let us look on the other side. Maybe the grass is greener there

  • Arthur, I don’t think they will have the Pledge Your Allegiance videos this year. Campfire did that last year and I don’t think they are working on season 3.

  • Was it only the NY Times?

    Any other big papers like the Chicago Sun Tribune, LA Times, Boston Globe, SF Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer…?

  • Dear God, an ad that actually obscures actual articles? How much did they pay for this? It must have been obscene amount.

  • They really seem to be advertising S3 a lot. Just saw the trailer during a commercial slot on the evening news.

  • I am still not that impressed with the poster, but I have to admit that it is way more effective in hi-res and the ad in the New York Times is just brilliant. I hope they extend the idea. – Imagine the shadow on advertising pillars, house walls, buses and so on… The potential is endless.

  • Well, that explains the poster. Clearly this was the whole idea behind the dragon shadow all along, but they wanted to save the surprise for Monday morning.

    The poster itself, however, is still terrible. But I’m willing to bet it will NOT be the final design for the cover of the DVDs or the paperback. There will be something added, some colour or texturing at the very least.

  • Rebecca:
    They really seem to be advertising S3 a lot. Just saw the trailer during a commercial slot on the evening news.

    What channel? Was it a U.S. channel?

  • ebevan91: What channel? Was it a U.S. channel?

    My mother had it on when I went down to the kitchen and it happened to be on, but it had to be either NBC, CBS, or ABC (in the US).

  • Wow. Has HBO been this intense before? Saturating network TV with trailers. Maybe that’s why the marketing campaign was so low key because they bought all the commercial spots? They’re not advertising for fans of the show they are trying to get everyone to watch the show. A guy at work just Facebooked me and said “is that what Game of Throne is like? I thought it was the Tudors or something.”

    Props to HBO if this is the case. For the advertising when encountered appears more like a movie trailer than a TV preview. I wouldn’t be surprised if their subscriber count goes up very soon.

  • Rebecca: My mother had it on when I went down to the kitchen and it happened to be on, but it had to be either NBC, CBS, or ABC (in the US).

    Hmm… I’ll keep an eye out. I want to watch the trailer on a large screen, not my (albeit nice 1080p) computer monitor.

  • I hope they don’t go overboard with advertising this season because sometimes if you over saturate the media with with ads for this show it could actually do the opposite and annoy people and put people off from ever watching. It seems a bit early for them to be airing ads all over network TV but I’ll take it as a sign they really like what they see from S3.

  • JamesL,

    Always cautious eh? I’m like that as well. I’ve been disappointed with movies, TV shows etc because of hype and other factors too many times to count.

    I’m just feeling a confident vibe for this season thus far.

  • ebevan91,

    Saw the trailer at around 7:58 EST on CBS, twas amazing!

    I really like the advertising they’re going with though, they seem to know how fascinated their audience is with Dany and her dragons. You can’t deny that chill you got when you saw Drogon. And we don’t need a tagline! Why? If you want one so badly, how about “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a dragon!”
    Come on people, just stay hyped about what probably be one of the most epic seasons ever.

  • Possible Taglines:

    Hodor Hodor Hodor
    Dude, Where’s my army?
    3 Dragons, no Throne
    A wildling wonderland
    Stakes on a Plain (season 4?)
    Its a nice day for a Red Wedding
    Theon and Reek: The odd couple

    I’m tired and have no more… let alone any good ones.

  • Okay, I have the worst luck with printed media (that or this relatively small town is stuffed to the gills with determined Thrones fans–finding the Thrones magazine back in December was an adventure as well). I had to get my hot little hands on this paper and savour the ad in person, so began my search. The coffee shop down the road was sold out, as was Fred Meyer, though I didn’t check Barnes and Noble (it’s the bloody NY Times–something less specialised than a bookshop had to have it). Luckily the local market had ONE copy left, and put it on hold for me. My family thinks I’m absolutely mad, but it was worth it. :-)

  • That’s great marketing and all that, loos pretty cool. But the post itself is still plain and Dany continues to be unsufferable (IMO)

  • Mrs. H’ghar,

    Maybe – but we have got to FACE OUR FEARS!
    I am afraid of butterflies. So if there are butterflies around – I will have to face them.
    You must face the Dragon :)

  • I like the shape and the concept of the dragon shadow and it certainly looks great on a 2-page spread!

    I just think it would make for poor box set art as is.
    *shrugs*

    That said, I love HBO’s marketing for Thrones as it has been very creative in the past, and now looks to be taking form once again!

    I wonder if we will get many supplemental featurettes this year…Not counting the upcoming various recaps. I do not recall when they were released in past seasons, but with only a little more than a month left I would think they would be released soon…
    Maybe? Please?

  • Mmm. I had thought that the “I have gained a song” comment was a reference to the title of the post and Van Halen’s single (or perhaps the Unchained Melody)…

  • zod:
    A-Gone,

    Says Martin.. What song could that be?

    I don’t think it could be anything other than The Bear and the Maiden Fair. Rains of Castamere would be out of place in that episode, same for The Dornishmen’s Wife, as we are not seeing the Dornish so soon. It could be The Last of The Giants, but it wouldn’t be such a good title like GRRM said it is just because the song is played. The Bear and the Maiden Fair would be perfect if episode 7 is where Brienne fights the bear. GRRM should learn how to drop less obvious hints =D

  • Rebecca:
    They really seem to be advertising S3 a lot. Just saw the trailer during a commercial slot on the evening news.

    I think I saw it too, on Fox network. It’s definitely being shown on HBO, and
    the day after Kimmel’s exclusive. The momentum is growing….Winter is Coming !

  • This is awesome, I also have a feeling that the poster will be the shadow filled up with an actual dragon. Has the book cover been released?

  • Nezzer,

    I see more than a few of us are reading “Not a Blog”. I just threw “The Dornishman’s Wife” out there, I wasn’t trying to be predictive or anything. I agree that “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” is most likely what he is talking about. If that’s true, that means George wrote for Jaime and Brienne! *rubs hands together-smiles big* That is so cool! :-)

    For Winterfell!

  • Teproc,

    Not to be rude but seriously the dragons are the main drivers of the the story from the moment they are birthed by Dany, magic returning to the asoiaf world is a direct result of the dragons the audience or reader knows this but often the characters don’t most at this stage think that there are know dragons yet old spells all of a sudden are working and magic seems to be coming back . How does dany get an army without them, do the dragons effect the power of the white walkers? Anyone who’s story involves dany seems to me at its heart is about the dragons