Game of Thrones—the international series sensation—debuted its final season on April 14, 2019 with millions of people glued to their screens, eager to see their favourite characters again for the first time in 2 years! TWO YEARS!! That’s a long time to wait to see who’ll end up sitting on the Iron Throne.
HBO’s show hasn’t only pushed the boundaries of television—they’re at the forefront of using immersive technology to engage and excite GoT fans on social media as well. Snapchat lenses can be a powerful weapon to reach an audience within a crowded social media landscape, and GoT is using lenses in incredible ways. To help promote the new season, the cast took selfie Snaps while walking down the red carpet for the premiere using a lens that placed a fire-breathing baby dragon on their shoulders. Their Snaps were shared via their official Twitter feeds, and spread virally around the internet as fans hyped up the series in return!
Also released on April 14th (and available for a week) was an AR lens that integrated Snapchat’s new ‘Landmarks’ capability. This lens experience featured Viserion, the Dragon, landing on the Flatiron building in NYC as a deadly chill overcomes New York.
Landmarks is a new feature of Snapchat’s Lens Studio 2.0 that enables creators to bring iconic buildings around the world to life using AR. Only available at specific locations, the scope of this feature is currently limited to the Flatiron Building (NYC), Eiffel Tower (Paris), Buckingham Palace (London), TCL Chinese Theatre (Hollywood) and the Capitol Building (Washington). Still in beta, Snapchat is accepting lens submissions from the creator community and gradually adding new locations to Landmarks!
This isn’t the first time Game of Thrones has turned to Snapchat to speak to their audience. To promote the season finale of Season 7, HBO released a Snapchat filter that turns eager fans into the Ice King, and the experience has so far reached 45 million people! The Snapcode cleverly redirects Snapchatters to the Game of Thrones website where they can see behind-the-scenes visuals and series info including a map of Westeros. By embedding a digital Snapcode into a variety of online locations, HBO is able to give fans ongoing access to the experience versus the now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t reach of a sponsored lens campaign that offers limited access to a lens by placing it in their carousel for a number of days.
During South by Southwest (SXSW), a festival that celebrates film, interactive media and music, HBO brought Game of Thrones to life with Snapchat’s AR capabilities. Blood exploded on old tapestries, the Targaryen sigil light was aflame and a map of Westeros showed the battle between ice and fire.
Game of Thrones uses Snapchat to amplify their brand on mobile screens and build excitement for the release of big episodes. GoT viewers, many aged 18-34, are one of Snapchat’s key demographics. Devotees have demonstrated an eagerness to leverage a new platform to share their comments on cliff-hanging episodes with friends. This, in turn, allows HBO to access user-generated content to keep the buzz around the series going between episodes and new seasons.
Want to learn more about social media AR? Check out our full list of resources here.