×

Listen: How Do You Market the Massive Final Season of ‘Game of Thrones’?

When a TV show like “Game of Thrones” can boast 33 million viewers each week, does marketing become besides the point, especially when the upcoming final season is sure to take the audience to new heights?

Listen to the podcast here:

“We could probably do absolutely nothing and shatter every ratings record in the book,” said Chris Spadaccini, executive VP and president of marketing at HBO, on the latest episode of the Variety podcast “Strictly Business.” “I think one tweet with ‘April 14th’ would probably do it. At the same time, we feel an enormous responsibility to commemorate what is arguably one of the greatest TV shows ever made, that has cemented its place in popular culture.”

In an interview recorded last month at the 2019 Variety Entertainment Marketing Summit, Spadaccini walked through his ambitious game plan for sending off HBO’s flagship series in high style. Marketing for the drama series has already led to watercooler moments both intentional, like its Super Bowl marketing partnership with Bud Light, and unintentional, such as when President Trump decided to borrow “Thrones” iconography for one of his ubiquitous tweets.

But it’s all worth it, according to Spadaccini, who sees “Thrones” as something of a throwback in an era when on-demand viewing is fragmenting the audience like never before.

“It really is one of the last remaining mono-cultural events where I get the feeling the world will be watching in real time because they don’t want to be left out,” he observed. “In that respect, it’s more akin to a World Cup than just a TV show.”

Strictly Business” is Variety‘s weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of entertainment. Listen to the podcast below for the full interview, or check out previous “Strictly Business” episodes featuring HBO chairman/CEO Richard Plepler, Discovery CEO David Zaslav, and TV star Tyra Banks. A new episode debuts each Tuesday and can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and SoundCloud.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Streamy Awards

    Streamy Awards 2019 Return to YouTube for Exclusive Live-Stream

    The 9th Annual Streamy Awards will again be available to stream live on YouTube exclusively. The 2019 awards ceremony will take place at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills on Friday, Dec. 13 and will stream live globally on YouTube via youtube.com/streamys. Videos from the 2018 Streamy Awards received over 6.9 million views on YouTube. [...]

  • Stefan Heinrich Henriquez - Cameo

    Celeb Video-Shoutout Startup Cameo Hires Ex-TikTok Exec Stefan Heinrich Henriquez

    Cameo, a startup that lets consumers purchase video shoutouts from celebrities, tapped Stefan Heinrich Henriquez as chief marketing officer and general manager of international. Heinrich, most recently head of marketing for short-form video app TikTok, will lead the company’s global growth and branding and play a key role in Cameo’s continued global expansion. He’s based [...]

  • Curiosity Stream Altice

    Altice USA Pacts With John Hendricks' CuriosityStream Service

    Altice USA has set a deal with John Hendricks’ CuriosityStream to expand distribution of the science- and history-focused subscription streaming service. The deal will make CuriosityStream available to all Altice USA’s 4.9 million customers across 21 states, including a big cluster serving New York and Connecticut. Altice also plans to add the CuriosityStream app to [...]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    Lionsgate Play Launching in India With Vodafone Idea

    Premium entertainment service, Lionsgate Play is launching in India through a partnership between telecoms operator Vodafone Idea and Starzplay, the subscription platform from Lionsgate subsidiary Starz. Lionsgate Play offers curated Hollywood content for the Indian consumers, with much of the content available in multiple Indian languages. It currently includes more than 7,500 television episodes and [...]

  • The Fantasy Footballers

    The Fantasy Footballers Podcast Lands SiriusXM Live Weekly Show

    The three guys from Arizona behind popular podcast The Fantasy Footballers are coming to SiriusXM with their own two-hour, live weekly show. Launching ahead of the 2019 NFL regular season, “The Fantasy Footballers on SiriusXM” will feature the podcast’s hosts — Andy Holloway, Jason Moore and Mike Wright — analyzing the gridiron fantasy-sports landscape and [...]

  • roku channel kids section

    Roku Is Embracing Kids Content With New Roku Channel Section

    Roku unveiled a new kids and family content section in its Roku Channel Monday, making it easier for young viewers to find movies and shows they’d like to watch, and assuring their parents that the little ones won’t be exposed to inappropriate content or ads. The new kids section offers access to 7000 free and [...]

  • Disney-Plus-Logo

    Disney Plus: First Global Markets Get Launch Dates, Pricing

    Disney will begin its international roll-out of Disney Plus on the same day – Nov. 12 – that the direct-to-consumer service launches in the U.S., with a push into Canada and the Netherlands, followed a week later by Australia and New Zealand. In addition, Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International group announced Monday that it had reached [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content