Dragons are coming: HBO is launching the first branded Snapchat augmented-reality lens for “Game of Thrones,” which will let New Yorkers gawk at the sight of an undead ice dragon alighting on top of the city’s iconic Flatiron Building.
HBO is using Snapchat’s new Landmarker AR Lens for the promo, which is the premium cabler’s latest partnership to hype the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones.” Snapchat Landmarkers are geolocated AR overlay effects associated with famous sites, and lets users insert themselves into the scene.
Snapchat users in NYC will be able to experience the Landmarker lens starting Sunday, April 14 — the premiere date for “Game of Thrones” Season 8 — and the week thereafter, to see the fantasy creature encase the Flatiron in ice. In “Game of Thrones,” the ice dragons are controlled by the Night King, leader of the White Walkers and their zombie army. To access the “GOT” Landmaker Lens, users in the vicinity of the Flatiron Building must tap the Snapchat camera and select the “Game of Thrones” Lens.
In addition, HBO is sponsoring dragon-themed AR Lenses running in over 10 markets worldwide to let Snapchat users spread more “Game of Thrones” love.
“‘Game of Thrones’ fans are always eager for new ways to explore the world of Westeros, and this exciting new feature will bring the show into the real world like never before,” said Emily Giannusa, VP of digital marketing for HBO.
Snapchat last week launched Landmarkers, announcing the feature at Snap’s first partner summit. Anyone can build their own Landmarker AR using Snapchat’s Lens Studio software. In addition to the Big Apple’s Flatiron Building, the other Landmarkers locations initially available are London’s Buckingham Palace, the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and L.A.’s Chinese Theater (with Snap promising to add more locations).
“This fusion of ‘Game of Thrones’ with a real cityscape shows the potential of our Landmarker tech as a powerful new creative frontier,” said Leah Rubin-Cadrain, Snap’s creative lead, entertainment.
For HBO, the Snapchat deal is just one piece of a wide-scale, multipronged marketing effort behind the “Game of Thrones” final season.
Promos include a “GOT”-themed takeover of Bellagio in Las Vegas; a sneaker collaboration with Adidas; Oreo’s special-edition “Game of Thrones” cookie; among other MLB tie-ins, a Boston Red Sox’s Game of Thrones Night at Fenway Park on April 22; and an AR experience created with Magic Leap featured in select AT&T retail stores.
AT&T, which owns WarnerMedia, also is running a sweepstakes to give away an $18,000 replica of the show’s Iron Throne.
Watch the “Game of Thrones” Snapchat Landmarker AR Lens in action: