Business Irish

Thursday 2 October 2014

Game of Thrones deal for Tourism Ireland

Published 10/04/2014 | 02:30

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The state tourism body has inked a deal with one of the hottest TV shows in the world
The campaign was timed to coincide with the return of the long-awaited fourth season of Game of Thrones
FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi is a Pepsi key performer

TOURISM Ireland is enjoying something of a winning streak at the moment. Weeks after world-famous NASA astronaut Chris Hadfield agreed to make a series of promotional videos espousing the country for them, the state tourism body has inked a deal with one of the hottest TV shows in the world.

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It's joining forces with HBO fantasy drama 'Game of Thrones' to promote Northern Ireland as a holiday destination around the world to the show's fans, since much of it is filmed there.

The dragon-filled series averaged 14.4 million gross viewers per episode last season, according to HBO, so there is a clear target market.

The ads replicate the dark tone of the TV series; images featured in the campaign include the iconic Dark Hedges, a beautiful avenue of beech trees near Ballymoney, Co Antrim, known as The Kingsroad in the TV series.

The campaign was timed to coincide with the return of the long-awaited fourth season of 'Game of Thrones', which launched on Sky Atlantic on Monday. It is being rolled out through Facebook and Twitter ads in Britain, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.

On the subject of 'Game of Thrones' – HBO's other most-anticipated show, new technology comedy 'Silicon Valley, has failed to challenge the former. The 'Game of Thrones' fourth-season premier brought in 8.2 million viewers, HBO said, while 'Silicon Valley's' debut attracted just 2.5 million.


HOLLYWOOD studio Paramount are revolutionising our bus shelters for their latest movie. Paramount have become one of the first advertisers in Ireland to use Near Field Communication (NFC) technology on selected bus shelters around the country, to promote the release of biblical epic 'Noah'.

Similar to bluetooth technology, NFC allows smart phones and tablets within close proximity to transfer information without the need for an internet signal. People waiting for buses can pass the time by tapping their phone against the newly installed NFC readers, which will download the trailer for Darren Aronofsky-directed 'Noah' straight away.

Fifty shelters in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford, at high footfall locations, have been fitted out. The campaign has been delivered by Kinetic and MEC.


PEPSI isn't going to let Coca-Cola rule soccer's World Cup tournament this year in Brazil. Coke's relationship with soccer governing body FIFA is now in its fifth decade, yet Pepsi, the world's largest snack-maker, is planning its biggest soccer campaign, featuring Argentine star Lionel Messi among its key performers.

The company is walking a knife-edge in terms of what it can and can't do without being an official sponsor.

"It's the first time we've rolled out a global football campaign to this magnitude," said Kristin Patrick, Pepsi's global chief marketing officer. The centrepiece of the Pepsi campaign is an ad set in a Rio slum that features Messi and other stars who'll compete at the World Cup.

But at no point does it mention the words World Cup, 2014 or Brazil.

The campaign is generating serious discord at FIFA.

Companies paid €300m last year in return for the rights to be exclusive World Cup sponsors; this income is a vital part of Zurich-based FIFA's revenues.

"If anyone could use the Official Marks for free and create an association with the 2014 FIFA World Cup, there would be no reason to become a rights holder and as a result FIFA would be unable to secure the funding necessary to stage the event," FIFA said on its website.

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