Bud Light's epic Game of Thrones tie-in returns with the resurrection of Bud Knight


By John McCarthy | Media editor

April 8, 2019 | 4 min read

Bud Light has resurrected its partnership with HBO to tie into this week's return of Game of Thrones. In it, the Bud Knight is brought back from death, hinting at future shenanigans between the brands.

The Bud Knight is resurrected

During the Super Bowl, Bud Light caused a splash by joining the Game of Thrones universe with an ad that saw Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson's The Mountain kill the Bud Knight of Dilly Dilly fame in a joust.

Bud Light’s creative agency Wieden+Kennedy New York collaborated with HBO and Droga5 New York to produce the minute-long spot 'Joust'. It was kept under wraps until it aired during the Super Bowl in order to make as big an impact as possible.

It featured strongman Björnsson, who is no stranger to an ad. However he is absent from the latest spot, 'The Return' which is much more restricted in its use of HBO entities.

It undoes the Bud Knight's untimely end, paying homage to the show with the necromantic resurrection of the Bud Light mascot, likely the first time the dark arts have been used to reanimate a brand ambassador. The Mountain followed a similar arc in the show, as did protagonist Jon Snow.

Speaking on the launch of 'The Joust', Brandon Henderson, creative director at Wieden+Kennedy New York, said: “Once the ‘Dilly Dilly’ campaign started taking off and we realized we had a long-lasting campaign in the medieval world, it became a dream of ours to team up with Game of Thrones. So, when someone brought us the pitch deck, my creative partner, John Parker, and I were really excited by it.

“The opportunity to have our kingdom become a part of the Game of Thrones world was already amazing but showing that on the biggest stage on earth? We couldn't ask for anything more. We're both avid Thrones watchers, so we knew that whatever we made needed to ultimately be satisfying for Game of Thrones’ fans. But the first half of the spot needed to live fully in our world. It was a challenge, but we love where we ended up."

The latest ad first ran during the NCAA Final Four last weekend.

Vote for the ad below in The Drum's Creative Works.

HBO: The Return by Wieden+Kennedy


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