Social media campaign reaches up to 100 million fans worldwide
Tourism Ireland’s Game of Thrones
campaign showcasing spectacular images of Northern Ireland has generated one million clicks, comments and shares and reached up to 100 million fans across the world, promoting Northern Ireland as a holiday destination and capitalising on associations with the smash hit TV series Game of Thrones.
In April, Tourism Ireland joined forces with HBO and its smash hit TV series Game of Thrones
, in a ground-breaking alliance to highlight Northern Ireland in a brand new way. The ads, which were developed in close collaboration with HBO, were specially designed to bridge the fantasy of Game of Thrones
with the reality of Northern Ireland, the holiday destination. The ads very much replicated the tone of voice of the TV series which is familiar to fans – but linked right back to Northern Ireland, providing those fans with compelling reasons to visit.
With the highly anticipated finale of season four of the cult fantasy series airing last night in the UK and Ireland (it aired in the US on Sunday, 15 June), the Tourism Ireland campaign has been deemed a huge success. Over the past ten weeks, the campaign – featuring places like the iconic Dark Hedges near Ballymoney (known as The Kingsroad in the TV series) – has generated one million clicks, comments and shares, with a particularly high level of engagement on Twitter (ten times greater than the average level of engagement), driving considerable traffic to a specially created section on Tourism Ireland’s website, Ireland.com/GameofThrones
The ads targeted millions of Game of Thrones
fans across the world, encouraging them to indulge their fascination for the series and journey into the heart of Winterfell, Dragonstone, Vaes Dothrak and other iconic locations from the show – all while visiting Northern Ireland. Game of Thrones was recently confirmed as HBO’s most watched show of all time, with an average gross audience of 18.4 million viewers across all platforms.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are delighted to report that our Game of Thrones campaign has been very successful – with the interaction and engagement of fans with our dedicated website proving even greater than we had anticipated. Our partnership with HBO allowed us to shine a spotlight on Northern Ireland in a completely new way, to a brand new audience of millions of Game of Thrones fans across the world. TV and film are recognised as strong influencers on prospective visitors, so this campaign was a major opportunity to shine a spotlight on Northern Ireland.”
The campaign was rolled out by Tourism Ireland throughout the fourth season of Game of Thrones
through ads on Facebook and Twitter in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. The ads leveraged the incredible success of the HBO brand and the huge global popularity of Game of Thrones
and its strong associations with Northern Ireland – the physical and spiritual home of the series, where much of the filming takes place.
Notes To Editors
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism Ireland’s Game of Thrones campaign involved three phases:
o teaser phase, around the launch of series 4 (2-6 April);
o phase two, when series four is airing on TV (7 April-9 June);
o phase three, after series four (9 June-15 June).
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is Ireland.com, which appears in 11 different language versions for 30+ markets around the world this year.
• In 2013, almost 1.7 million overseas visitors visited Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of £474 million.
• Tourism is responsible for in excess of 4.9% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 40,000 jobs.