PERSPECTIVES: A GAME OF TRENDS

Matt Henry, Designer at Brandhouse

Warning: May Contain Spoilers!

It’s that terrible time of the year again, where we once again say goodbye to our favourite dwarves and dragons, and wait impatiently another year (or more) for the next season of Game of Thrones. This season in particular has gripped the world massively and with so many viewers worldwide, it’s interesting to see how certain brands have joined in with the hype. Some have been particularly successful, but is it always necessary to jump on the bandwagon?

Tourism Ireland is one brand in particular which has used the power of Game of Thrones to their advantage. As Northern Ireland is used as one of the main filming locations, the tourism board have recently created campaigns to promote the country. One campaign in particular that stands out, is an interactive, 66-metre-long tapestry, that depicts key scenes from all of the seasons of the TV series. As Northern Ireland has a rich heritage of textile and linen manufacture, this beautifully crafted tapestry is a great and unique way to grab the attention of fans and also promote the heritage and culture.

 

 

In some more unexpected situations, the TV series has helped brands without them even knowing. In a recent interview, a costume designer revealed that for a particular snow-y based character, they used a famous Swedish brand’s rug as a cloak. As soon as this news came out, IKEA cleverly jumped on the occasion and created one of their famous instructions for social media, in perfect timing for the new series.

 

 

There are however some brands which may have tried a bit too hard to get involved with the hype. One noticeable example is the recent KFC advert to promote their new Ricebox. Even though it brings back tearful memories from an earlier series, I don’t think it makes me want to get some finger-lickin’ chicken anymore than I did before. The most likely reason for that being that it just isn’t a natural connection for the brand, leaving you feeling like they’re only doing it for the sake of it, without really adding any value to the product or the brand.

 

 

Working with current trends can give brands a real boost, and when timed right, can be relevant to the right audiences. The key takeaway for me however is that it should ideally have some relevance to what your brand is offering or stands for, to connect better with consumers. Ultimately, harnessing trends is a risky move that can be great for your brand, or instead go totally awry – in the words of Cersei Lannister, “When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die.”

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