What can the Game of Thrones teach us about DRTV and performance based marketing? Some may well ask what on earth could Westeros possibly have in common with a Snuggie? How in Essos could a dashing Stark possibly have anything in common with a lowly infomercial? And well you may ask.
As marketers, it is our job to form a correlation between a cultural phenomenon (such as the rabid popularity of Game of Thrones) and how we can learn what it can teach us about reaching consumers. So I pose the following as some things to learn.
People clamor for what is scarce. Limited time is a huge word that pulls in a big way. Game of Thrones has a limited number of episodes in this season so therefore people feel they must watch every second of every episode. Same can be said of products and services. A limited time offer works because people will want to get in on it while it lasts and will feel that they have missed out of they don’t take advantage of whatever is special. Witness flash sales online, which, in essence, took their cue from the infomercial world to create the scarcity and limited time purchasing. Same thing for Prime Day. People waited to purchase on Amazon until Prime Day so they didn’t miss out on the deals.
Heroic and classic music can captivate an audience. Even the millennials with the most sophisticated pallet for contemporary music admit they love the music in Game of Thrones. Perhaps infomercials and DRTV spots could up the game musically and not just have “elevator music” in their advertising. Music can set a tone, a mood, create an emotional pull, so why not use that as part of the overall tactic to sway a consumer and help create an impetus to buy?
Good vs. evil. In Game of Thrones, people are rooting for good against evil (at least most people). They are very tied into the story and want the good guys to win. We can use this in advertising where our hero product or service vanquishes the evil competitors or other modes of solving a problem. Rooting for the good guy or even the underdog is something that can win over a customer.
Game of Thrones draws viewers into a fantasy world. It’s all made up but yet all so very real. The best products and services marketed directly to the consumer have a bit of an element of fantasy. The consumer fantasizes about how they can look, how they can feel, there is an element of imagination and wanting to believe. Help them in their fantasy. Educate them to believe in a better way, a different way, believe in possibilities.
So, take it from this Dragon lady, there is always something to be learned in advertising from popular culture. But just don’t try the full frontal nudity in your ads, as I don’t think the FTC would be too keen on allowing that.