If you survived the Red Wedding, the American Red Cross knows you don’t have problems with seeing blood. Photo: Ignacio Linares/SXSW-HBO
SAN DIEGO, Calif., March 26, 2019 – HBO doesn’t need to spend a dime on promotion for the upcoming eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones,” its record-breaking, award-winning series. A single tweet with the show’s logo and an April 14, 2019 date confirming the season debut would have done the job nicely, with fans eagerly flying their Westeros house banners and arguing over every leaked photo, video, haircut, and costume change.
What ambitious brand wouldn’t want in on this publicity tsunami? Get ready for some crazy attempts to link unrelated companies to GOT’s final season starting April 14.
Athletic shoes inspired by Game of Thrones characters? Sure, why not. Courtesy Adidas
It started with the GOT themed Super Bowl commercial for Bud Light. At least it laid claim to some authenticity. It was directed by Game of Throne’s director David Nutter and had the blessing of the showrunners. So is the Bud Light Bud Knight going to show up in George R.R. Martin’s next book?
Fashion designer John Varvatos announced a ‘Game of Thrones’ themed capsule collection. Feel free to coordinate with the Game of Thrones x adidas Ultra Boost Collection shoes, inspired by six characters on the show, which debuted on Friday, March 22. The icy white and blue White Walkers can be yours for $180.
HBO’s online shop is selling collectible lapel pins. Eight are currently available. Two will be released every Monday in April starting on April 1. There will eventually be 18 of them.
No, you aren’t dreaming: Game of Thrones Oreos are here.
Nabisco announced its special edition ‘Game of Thrones’ themed Oreo cookies. It’s not quite as crazy as it sounds. Visual aid shown here. It’s worth a visit to the Oreo Twitter account. Late night TV host Seth Meyers joked, “The way it works is you eat seven of them, and then you have to wait three years before you can have another.”
GOT started a global scavenger hunt last week by dropping six Iron Thrones in six locations around the world. Fans began their quest for clues with this video. (No spoilers, but photos of fans sitting in the chairs around the world have popped up on Twitter and Instagram).
Roll up your sleeve #ForTheThrone
But you’ve got to hand it to the American Red Cross for a truly clever promotion. To celebrate the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, HBO and the American Red Cross have partnered to ask fans and blood donors to “Bleed #ForTheThrone.”
Brutal winter weather in the U.S. from coast to coast negatively affected blood donor numbers. So why not remind people that #WinterIsHere while asking individuals to roll up a sleeve and give blood as soon as possible.
“For seven seasons characters of Game of Thrones have bled for the throne. Now the Red Cross is joining the battle for the living by asking all eligible individuals to help alleviate blood shortages in the real world,” the organization said in a news release. “Blood products are perishable, and the only source of lifesaving blood for patients is volunteer blood donors. Therefore, any disruptions to donations – from severe weather to widespread flu – can lead to an emergency need and cause delays in essential medical care. We need donors of all ethnicities and blood types to ensure the right blood product is available at the right time.”
The partnership included blood drives held in 43 states from March 7 through March 12. Nine college and universities across the U.S. from will hold their drives through April 11, just before the season 8 debut on April 14. HBO also hosted an “immersive” blood drive experience at South by Southwest (SXSW) earlier this month in Austin, Texas
But you don’t have to participate in the promotion to do your share. Make an appointment by using the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733- 2767). A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
After all, if you’ve watched all seven seasons to date of “Game of Thrones,” including the Red Wedding, we know you don’t have any problem with the sight of blood. No excuses.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award-winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.