HBO’s Largest Advertising and marketing Push Ever Valued At $100M+ Tentpole Proportions

EXCLUSIVE: For all of the noise about David Zaslav’s quest to seek out $3 billion in cost-saving initiatives on the newly merged Warner Bros. Discovery, what stays vital to the brand new CEO is to spend on content material the place these {dollars} repay.

.  - Credits: HBO

. – Credit: HBO


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And the place is that? Why, on the launch of HBO’s close to $200M Sport of Thrones spinoff sequence, Home of the Dragon, premiering this Sunday on each the linear pay-TV channel and streaming service HBO Max. Sources info Deadline that HBO’s greatest advertising marketing campaign ever is valued at over $100M in media spend (that is a combo of advert spot worth and laborious money shelled out). That is a theatrical tentpole-sized advertising finances by all accounts, not some thrifty, Netflix-type push to subscribers on its menu. And as Zaslav identified at the moment in his congratulatory memo to staffers (obtained by Deadline) earlier than Home of the Dragon‘s debut, it is already paid off with the sequence marketing campaign having “reached almost 130 million folks within the US alone,” whereas additionally repping a united entrance throughout a majority of manufacturers within the Warner Bros. Discovery empire to tubthump this new present.

Pia Barlow, HBO Max EVP Originals Marketing - Credit: Getty

Pia Barlow, HBO Max EVP Originals Advertising and marketing – Credit score: Getty


In chatting with Deadline, Pia Barlow, EVP of HBO Originals Advertising and marketing, mentioned the mo of the Home of the Dragon advertising marketing campaign was to “impress each new and current followers,” that demo being women and men, 18-54.

The Home of the Dragon marketing campaign is basically about producing large, broad consciousness and curiosity all through the summer season, however to additionally be certain that we’re signaling to current followers in addition to new followers alike that this can be a new Sport of Thrones story coming to HBO Max,” Barlow provides.

“It has additionally been thrilling to see groups throughout the corporate work collaboratively with the HBO crew in what has been an unprecedented cross-promotional marketing campaign. And we have performed all of this in just some brief months, clearly displaying what we will accomplish when our networks, streaming platforms, digital and social channels all work collectively in help of 1 shared precedence,” Zaslav emphasised this AM. He outlined the conglom’s plan to micro goal viewers in a advertising push that has spanned social media, out of doors, digital, conventional TV spots and splashy promotions on such distribution companions like Xfinity cable (the place there is a HOTD vacation spot on their X1 and Flex video platforms) and Roku, which additionally produced a particular episode of their content material buzz present, The Roku Rundown.

'House of the Dragon' fire-breathing banner on HGTV.  - Credit: HGTV

‘Home of the Dragon’ fire-breathing banner on HGTV. – Credit score: HGTV


If the Home of Targaryen is wealthy in dragons, then Warner Bros Discovery has a humiliation of riches in the case of advert area, with HOTD getting pumped throughout such channels, per promoting stat org iSpot, as TBS (20.9%), Discovery (9.1%), TNT (7.7%), CNN (7.4%) and Meals Community (6.6%). In the event you had been watching HGTV, you’d catch a fire-breathing dragon popping up within the backside of the display screen throughout your favourite present in a banner to advertise the Ryan J. Condal co-created sequence. iSpot additionally experiences that 99.1% of HBO’s promo TV advert impressions since July 20 got here from HOTD.

One other notable point out within the teamwork for HOTD amongst Warner Bros. Discovery channels was the unique take a look at the Martin sequence on the debut evening of Discovery’s Shark Week on Sunday, July 24. Need extra cross-promotion? How in regards to the members of TNT’s All Elite Wrestling crew sitting on the brand new GOT throne from HOTD on the San Diego Comedian-Con expertise (learn down).

.  - Credit: Warner Bros

. – Credit score: Warner Bros

Warner Bros

Regarding the future success of HBO Max, Zaslav has made it clear that it is within the catalog of sequence and marquee Warner Bros theatrical titles hitting the service 45 days after they’re in cinemas. Warner Bros. Discovery bean counters see zero upside to distributing films on to HBO Max just like the earlier WarnerMedia regime beneath Jason Kilar. It is a large waste of cash, and their availability in theaters and houses concurrently diminishes their patina, in addition to their resonance in subsequent ancillary home windows.

To not point out there’s analysis on the market to show that frozen subscribers come for a film, then bail on the service. It is the weekly drop of a scorching episodic sequence comparable to HOTD which retains subs locked in. To not point out, windowed theatrical movies on HBO Max click on higher than day-and-date. We have heard that the primary weekend of Improbable Beasts: The Secrets and techniques of Dumbledore on HBO Max after its 45 days in theaters ($95M home field workplace) drove shut to twenty% of the visitors to the OTT service, whereas within the pic’s first week, it was chargeable for a 3rd of HBO Max’s visitors.

As well as, third-party streaming measurement org Samba TV reported that the primary week of The Batman on HBO Max (after its 45-day theatrical run) pulled in 4.1 million households, besting the primary week of such day-and-date Warner films as The Suicide Squad (3.5M), Marvel Girl 1984 (3.2M), The Matrix Resurrections (3.2M) and Dune (2.3M).

The HOTD marketing campaign kicked off with two teaser trailers launched on Oct. 5, 2021 (17.1M YouTube views) and Might 5, 2022 (14M YT views). However then the advertising mojo kicked into excessive gear heading into San Diego Comedian-Con, which noticed a walk-up trailer drop (July 20, 18.8M YT view), the Corridor H panel with the forged, Condal, and an prolonged trailer; the DracARys dragon-egg hatching app, and The Home of the Dragon: Dragon’s Den stay experiences; the latter pulling in 4k citadel who walked by the sequence world adorned with actors in cosplay. All of those efforts proceed to shine for HBO’s social media; SDCC being “the present that retains on giving,” says Barlow, yielding 102M impressions and 128K new followers on the Home of the Dragon and Sport of Thrones social channels.

Says Barlow about HOTD’s large footprint at Comedian-Con, “The timing could not have been extra good. It was proper in our launch window, and since it was the primary time we had been going to be again actually in full pressure after just a few years, we knew that there was going to be this pent-up demand and pleasure from followers, and we ‘ve had fairly important presence previously with Sport of Thrones at Comedian-Con. So, there was nearly an expectation that we additionally wished to verify we had been fulfilling for followers.”

Social media analytics agency RelishMix clocked how loud the quantity was for HOTD, saying HBO “took an stable natural method to partaking followers of the GOT franchise social community of 44.1M — as early as casting in preproduction to partaking them with new social channels for HOTD, now constructed throughout Fb Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.” Add in HBO Max’s followers and the social media universe attain for the brand new Westeros World sequence stands at near 313M.

“Materials hasn’t been flooded, however selectively posted, with solely 12 movies on Fb at 11.1M views and fewer on YouTube with 134.2M views, all cross-posted on earned channels,” says RelishMix of their newest report back to Deadline. “The Comedian-con bulletins and stay panel spiked a wave of supplies leading-up to the streaming premiere weekend.”

.  - Credits: Snapchat

. – Credit: Snapchat


Additionally occurring this Sunday on the day of the premiere is a brand new Snapchat selfie + world going through AR lens which can run all through the course of the primary season. AR builders who’re members of Snap’s international Lens Community are constructing customized Landmarker AR experiences of their native markets, which embody AR renderings of the HOTD dragons as they take over international landmarks. The Landmarker lenses will likely be unlockable by way of the Lens Carousel when Snapchatters are close to a notable location. The lens will likely be obtainable in such territories as Australia, elements of Europe, India, the Center East and Northern Africa, North America, and extra. The customized Landmarker AR experiences will launch in Chennai, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Prague and Rio de Janeiro this Sunday.

Among the many promo companions for HOTD, there’s Bose, which had their sound system featured all through the Dragon’s Den at SDCC, and Duolingo, which kicked off on July 19, with followers studying Excessive Valyrian forward of the HOTD premiere. The app’s TikTok viral mascot made an look on the HOTD Comedian-Con activation, the place he reminded to finish their classes with life-size push notifications and indicators with dragon instructions in Excessive Valyrian.

As well as, among the many promo companions, there is a month-long pop-up expertise for the sequence on the Pure Historical past Museum of LA from Aug. 5-Sept. 7. Impressed by the reveals one would possibly see exploring the relics and traditions of real-life regimes comparable to historic Rome or historic Egypt, the HOTD exhibit options props, costumes, and specially-designed shows to focus on the historical past of Daenerys Targaryen’s ancestors.

It might be an understatement to say that the stakes are excessive right here within the rollout of home of the dragons, not solely from a future GOT improvement franchise angle, but additionally with regard to rankings. The ultimate season of Sport of Thrones left large footwear for Home of the Dragon to fill, and that was earlier than HBO had the facility of HBO Max. GOT in its remaining season averaged 46M per episode domestically, and RelishMix notes there’s chatter on social media of those that are “nonetheless not glad with the ending.” Euphoria Season 2 episodes, by comparability, which had the added benefit of HBO Max, averaged 19.5M viewers every throughout all platforms.

Nonetheless, RelishMix notes social chatter the place there’s an “pleasure for the brand new journey again in time 200-years earlier than GOT — from protecting dragon lovers who insist that ‘no dragons had been damage within the making of the present’ and really feel that they’re the core of story — to Matt Smith tremendous followers who’re on the sting — to HBO followers who relish the historical past of high quality programming.”

A rankings windfall for HOTD will little doubt be one of many early wins for Zaslav’s administration model, which appears to be like to interrupt down the partitions between all Warner Bros. Discovery manufacturers and amp up their synergies to the nth diploma.

Beamed Zaslav within the conclusion of his firm e mail at the moment, “We’re dedicated to constructing one crew with one mission – the third of three strategic priorities I highlighted in our current earnings name – and the efforts in help of the launch of Home of the Dragon are an excellent indication of how robust we’re and what we will do once we work collectively.”

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