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Game of Thrones Slays Boring Newspaper Advertising

Leave it to Game of Thrones, the wildly popular HBO series whose creative executions are second to none, to reinvent newspaper advertising. With dragons.

This morning when I opened The New York Times (yes, I still get the printed edition), I feasted my eyes on this:

Bravo! I have never before seen an ad graphic overlaying actual editorial (non advertorial) content like this, acting as a hero graphic across two pages to draw attention to the less-than-quarter page ad. Yes, those are actual articles the Game of Thrones dragon is flying over – articles not about the show – and you can easily read them through the fantastic creature’s shadow.

And just like that, Game of Thrones has raised the bar for newspaper advertising. The dragon is an unmistakable symbol for the show (we’re all eager to see the baby dragons all grown up and flying around!), so any fan of the show who sees the ad will immediately get it. Further, non-fans may wonder enough about it to become interested.

As one in the biz, I have to wonder how this media buy went down. Did HBO pay for a full page ad to actually get this better-than-spread coverage that still allows the NYT to post nearly two full pages of articles? Seems like a win-win – one that I can guarantee will be emulated in the near future. I look forward to seeing the next ad that adds more to the newspaper experience like this one does.

~ @AdvertGirl (aka Denise Blasevick, CEO, The S3 Agency)


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