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14 Dec 2015

Tourism Ireland scoops top marketing award for Game of Thrones campaign

Tourism Ireland has scooped a top marketing award for its ‘Northern Ireland, Game of Thrones Territory’ campaign.

The International Content Marketing Awards – organised by the Content Marketing Association (CMA) – took place recently in London. Tourism Ireland was one of ten organisations shortlisted in the “best travel” category for its 2015 Game of Thrones campaign, beating off stiff competition from the likes of British Airways, Scandinavian Airlines and Qantas Airways, to take the top prize.

Tourism Ireland joined forces with HBO once again this spring, to promote Northern Ireland around the world – capitalising on the huge global success of Game of Thrones and the fact that much of the show was filmed in Northern Ireland. Timed to coincide with the return of the fifth season of Game of Thrones, the campaign was rolled out by Tourism Ireland, through Facebook and Twitter, in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.

This year’s campaign involved a series of nine micro-action videos, all filmed in Northern Ireland – each one featuring key themes from the show that fans were talking about on social media. The short films, plus a series of images, were distributed by Tourism Ireland across Facebook and Twitter (the spaces where most of the discussion around Game of Thrones was taking place) over a 12-week period during key episodes of the show, generating more than 4.5 million views on Facebook and 38,000 likes on Instagram.

The judges said: “This was a hugely creative idea with incredible results. The entire solution demonstrated great amplification and fantastic multi-platform activation.”

Brian Twomey, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Marketing Communications, said: “We are delighted that our Game of Thrones campaign has been singled out for this award by the Content Marketing Association. We were really pleased to continue our partnership with HBO in 2015, to highlight Northern Ireland and its beautiful landscape – through the exciting events of Game of Thrones – on the global stage. Our aim was to reach out to the show’s global fanbase, spiking their curiosity about the landscapes and locations featured in the series and inspiring them to come and explore them for themselves. We are constantly looking at innovative and engaging ways of reaching potential holidaymakers for Northern Ireland, so we are particularly honoured to receive this award.”

The strength of the connection with Northern Ireland created by Tourism Ireland’s Game of Thrones promotional activity was also reflected in research commissioned by HBO earlier this year in our top four markets – about destinations that people most wanted to visit, having been inspired by TV and film. The Co Antrim coastline was listed as third most popular destination, after New Zealand (for Lord of the Rings) and New York (for Sex and the City).
  Brian Twomey, Tourism Ireland (right), and Alex Buckland, Publicis, with the award for best international content marketing (travel category) for Tourism Ireland’s 2015 Game of Thrones campaign.

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 is responsible for in excess of 5.2% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 43,000 jobs.
  • By the end of 2015, we will have welcomed about 1.9 million overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of about £454 million.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, attracted about 14.25 million visitors.


Previous Press Release

10 Dec 2015

Tourism Ireland scoops top travel award in Italy