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How Sky & Now TV’s House of The Dragon throne drew crowds of thousands

June 21, 2023 | 7 min read

The campaign won in the Entertainment category at The Drum Awards for Marketing EMEA.

House of Dragons

House of Dragons throne wins at The Drum Marketing Awards

Lots of people were already discussing Game of Thrones online, so Now an Sky TV needed something extraordinary to change the conversation to House of The Dragon. To achieve this, it had to reward the loyalists while reaching a broader audience without coming across as intrusive or contrived.

The Idea

This wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. When dealing with hardcore fandom, one wrong move can land you in hot water, so it needed a ‘fan-first’ approach built on experience and trust. This meant thinking and acting like a ‘Thronie‘ without putting off a mainstream audience.

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The Strategy

From sign-off to launch, there were only a few weeks to make this happen. So, the team scrutinized every detail of what made House of The Dragon different from Game of Thrones. The series is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones and among its many fresh elements was the fact the iconic Iron Throne had been revamped and is much more impressive looking. Forged from the blades of Aegon Targaryen’s defeated foes after he conquered Westeros, the imposing 12ft by 10ft Iron Throne is the ultimate symbol of power.

Teasers and trailers had already revealed the new-look throne, while fan websites were flooded with pictures and clips of the protruding swords all melted together by a dragon’s fiery breath. Given that fans of Game of Thrones have been so enduringly loyal over the years, it decided to reward them by giving them the chance to sit on this most stately of seats ahead of the House of The Dragon premier. They too would get to rule like a king or queen of Westeros for a few moments and, more importantly, share this once-in-a-lifetime experience with friends. The excitement of this moment would spread into the many hundreds of online fan groups and potentially reach millions more.

An exact replica of The Iron Throne was provided by Now and Sky and with much persistence it also secured the ultimate backdrop for it: the Tower of London.

Once the word was out, cosplayers and fans queued up for hours outside the Tower of London. As well as granting access to regular punters visiting the Tower of London, it ran an exclusive ticket scheme for 150 people a day to skip the queue. All they had to do was sign up via Now TV’s social channels, free of charge.

The Results

Following the Tower of London activation, the throne was taken on a tour of London, Cardiff and Edinburgh where thousands more visitors experienced sitting on it. During the tour, lots of local media came down to see it themselves, which meant that following the initial blast of national media the campaign was expanded by lots of regional follow-ups.

  • 200+ pieces of coverage

  • 11 national newspapers

  • 98% of coverage credits both Now and Sky

  • Highlights include Sky News, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Metro, The Sun, INews and Stylist

  • Live broadcast features were secured using the Iron Throne on Sky News and ITV’s Good Morning Britain, including a 6-minute live segment with ITV’s Richard Arnold from Osterley the morning after the premiere. This segment was pre-promoted on air every 30 minutes and amplified across Richard’s 400,000-strong social audience (Instagram & Twitter)

  • Tickets for the Iron Throne sold out in 24 hours and 25,000 visitors saw the Throne at the Tower of London – in total the Throne Tour will have a fan footfall of circa 240,000

  • Influencer content captured at the Tower of London had a combined reach of 3.4 million and social posts promoting the Throne tour netted 1.3m impressions, 4,000 engagements and 1,500 clicks on the booking link

  • Kay Burley interviewed Thronecast’s Jamie East live before the Iron Throne went to its final UK fan stop on Calton Hill ahead of the Edinburgh TV Festival

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This campaign won at The Drum Awards for Marketing EMEA 2023. Find out more about The Drum’s Global Awards program or head to our case studies hub to read more award-winning stories.

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