HBO fantasy show Game of Thrones has revolutionized TV with its water-cooler storylines and brutal twists – it is also proving to be a launch pad for the actors involved, propelling them into the (sometimes) lucrative world of advertising.
As one of the most talked about, and pirated, and expensive shows, Game of Thrones has long been a point of parody, but it is one of the few titles that sees its own actors star in high-profile slots ragging on the series – a risky move considering HBO owns the intellectual rights to Game of Thrones and could make life difficults for anyone trying to profit off its characters.
Here are just some of the ads we caught from top brands looking to ride the wave of populism from Game of Thrones.
SodaStream ‘Who Are The Homoschlepiens?’
Kristian Nairn closely resembles Hodor in a spoof safari led by Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik. Someone at SodaStream clearly loves Game of Thrones.
SodaStream ‘Shame or Glory’ – Director, screenwriter and editor: Vania Heymann
Everyone’s favourite soda creation kit, SodaStream secured the services Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson (The Mountain) and Hannah Waddingham (Septa Unella), the ‘Shame’ nun in an ad that irked the ASA. Shame!
Caterpillar ‘Tug of War’ – Agency: Ogilvy & Mather New York
The Mountain returns in a Wintry ad aping the show’s frozen wastes in the North, here he plays tug-of-war with a D-10 bulldozer. It is not until everyone pulls together that they succeed against an unstoppable force.
Icelandic Mountain Vodka ‘A day with Hafthor’ – Director: Anton Rúnarsson
The Mountain is back, this guy is getting a lot of work off the back of his Game of Thrones work. Now he has a vodka named after his on-screen character. This is surprising as he is actually the third actor to play the role.
KFC ‘Lunchtime is Coming’ – Agency: BBH London
Hodor is back, he secured The Drum’s Ad of the Day for KFC in an ad that played on the character’s most emotional scene in the show. Chicken and fries, Chicken and fries, Chicken and fries…
Apple TV ‘The Kiss’ – Agency: TBWA/Media Arts Lab
Game of Throne’s Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lannister) and Mad Men’s Alison Brie come together for a not-very intimate kiss before a film shoot. Brie cheekily suggests searching the Game of Thrones scenes where Coster-Waldau kisses his on-screen sister Cersei played by Lene Hedley.
Bank of Scotland ‘Decisions Well Made (Parents)’ – Agency: RKCR/Y&R
James Cosmo (Jeor Mormont) adopts his nightwatch garb to dole out financial advice. Winter has come in Scotland.
BBC Winter Olympics 2014: Trailer – Agency: RKCR/Y&R
Surely Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) narrating an ad about winter… Olympics should make the list?
International Rescue Committee ‘Rescue Has No Boundaries’ – Agency: McKee, Wallwork and Company
Much of the star-studded cast appear to launch the Rescue Has No Boundaries campaign. By no means a humourous ad, it is unusual to see on-screen baddies make such an emotional plea. Many had previously fronted an anti-violence campaign.
Some honourable mentions are featured below. They may not have a Game of Thrones theme but their stars probably don’t want you seeing them.
Kit Harrington who plays Jon Snow has been in a few interesting ads.
Jimmy Choo MAN
Before his stint ad on Game of Thrones as the Hound Rory McCann was the Scotts Porridge guy.
Carice van Houten ( Mellisandre) tried to shift a few Samsung Galaxy Notes – it’s in Dutch so your guess is as good as mine as to whether she is very good at it.
Kristofer Hivju, who plays the energetic Tormund Giantsbane is an ad veteran starring as the Wyndham Rewards Wizard and an aluminum company ambassador.
Hivju is a big deal in Norway.
That’s all for now. There’s plenty more out there including a few unsuitable to publish in The Drum. But that is what Google is for right?
Be sure to share any ads we’ve missed.