Johnnie Walker, Not Jon Snow, Sits on the Iron Throne
Image Credit: MultiVu
Winter is coming.
To help get you through winter and safely to the next season, Johnnie Walker has created a special edition “White Walker” Scotch to commemorate what will be the final thrilling season of “Game of Thrones.” It’s true. Brace for them – both the product and the show’s end.
Let’s talk about the product first: The tie-in to the product works very well. It is a natural fit based on terminology and the essence of the Johnnie Walker brand promise of “walking your own path.”
The characters on the show nail that promise, and the story is on-point as well. Being a spectacle with eye-opening special effects, filmed in far flung locations, with production value in the scope of a blockbuster movie – for every episode – “Game of Thrones” is aligned with the Johnnie Walker brand essence. Never before have we witnessed a spectacle like this on a small screen. “Game of Thrones” has indeed walked its own way.
What’s more, there will be a series of bottles, each centered on a character or kingdom in “Game of Thrones,” along with White Walker, which is based on the un-dead creatures called White Walkers, who look to convert more living souls to their ever-growing army.
For those not into “Game of Thrones,” the program started as a series of books by George R. R. Martin that became a TV show which then turned into a national Sunday night celebration of surprising creativity and intrigue. It is laced with unforgettable characters. You either fall head over heels in love with them or revile them with hateful unapologetic snickers at the point of their demise. Storylines leave indelible memories, twists galore, and plot revelations as unpredictable as Ygritte’s dying words: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”
The point is that the brand and the property share values, making this a very smart marketing initiative. We at EGC have created a few branded partnerships with entertainment properties as well. For instance, we initiated a seamless partnership with one of our clients and their sewing machines via the reality TV show called “Project Runway.” It’s a very successful marketing initiative that includes product lines made specifically for the show, the same as Johnnie Walker is doing now with “Game of Thrones” except we had our product in the content.
This type of brand and property association goes beyond advertising and can be very powerful. When the brand is enmeshed with the content, the audience sees it differently. It is not a sell. It instead becomes part of the entertainment the consumer wants to watch. Who wants to watch an ad? Not me. Unless it’s entertaining enough to be worthy of my time.
So, we applaud Johnnie Walker for its deft move to win the “Iron Throne of Spirits.” We think it will do well, both for raising brand awareness and selling specific products. And it’s not just our opinion speaking. It’s coming from experts who’ve fought a few brand wars of their own and helped clients sit perched upon their throne.
Spoiler alert: Online sportsbook Bovada is now accepting bets with Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow, both at + 200 to win the Iron Throne.
Can your brand benefit by some imaginative strategies? Contact EGC.