Battle of the Realms: How HBO’s Game of Thrones Rallies the Troops

Social media is already at a rolling boil for the World Cup (which kicks off today), with superfans raising their hashflags in anticipation and brands rolling out full-fledged digital campaigns to earn their way into the conversation. Off the pitch, the current chapter of another fierce battle that pits realms against one another—the Game of Thrones—is drawing to a close; the season finale airs this Sunday on HBO. Social marketers seeking to leverage the til-death-do-us-part fandom of viewers should take note—HBO does a masterful job engaging fans to collaboratively advance the story taking place on the second screen. HBO's Sabrina Caluori sat down with Jesse Redniss, our Chief Strategy Officer, to discuss engaging super fans in the collaborative economy. HBO has been a leader in the social TV and second screen space, especially with Game of Thrones, creating multiple opportunities—both big and small—for fans to be a part of the social conversation outside of the regularly scheduled tune-in time. The #TakeTheThrone interactive social contest asked fans to "Add Your Words" helping to create a digital rendering of the Iron Throne, comprised of Tweets, Instagram photos, and Facebook updates instead of the swords of Aegon the Conqueror's foes. They also held the first ever social roast, inviting fans to lambast the King we all love to hate using the hashtag #RoastJoffrey. In this video, Sabrina talks about Beautiful Death--a 30-day countdown leading up to this season's premiere- which featured 30 illustrations of significant deaths in the series from illustrator, Robert M. Ball. See the full gallery here and watch the video to learn how HBO got diehard fans to participate.'s picture

Courtney Doman

Courtney is the Content Marketing Manager at Spredfast. She focuses on sharing smart social ideas and insights to transform the way companies connect with consumers. Courtney is a passionate football fan (supporting Arsenal and the USMNT), curious traveller, and ambitious home cook.