Fantastical Games of Thrones props – including dragon eggs and three-eyed ravens – have been appearing in surprising locations around Belfast and Northern Ireland over the past few weeks, as part of a new Tourism Ireland campaign created in partnership with HBO®.
Three-eyed ravens, replicas of those used inGame of Thrones, were seen perched on top of old-fashioned wooden signs, specially erected to point the way to some of the iconic locations around Northern Ireland where the series is filmed. And replica dragon eggs were placed among fruit and vegetables in a market stall in St George’s Market in Belfast. The eggs were ‘for sale’ to people visiting the market for the price of 125 Gold Dragons – the currency used in Game of Thrones. What customers didn’t know was that one of the eggs was controlled by remote control and proceeded to rattle and wobble around, much to their surprise!
Photos and videos were taken of the props in the various locations – and will be promoted by Tourism Ireland to some 100 millionGame of Thrones fans around the world, as ‘real news’ items in the new campaign.
Tourism Ireland is once again joining forces with HBO and its smash hit TV series Game of Thrones, to promote Northern Ireland around the world in 2015. The campaign will run for 14 weeks and will build on the hugely successful campaign of 2014 – which generated almost one million clicks, comments and shares and reached about 100 million fans across the world.
Timed to coincide with the return of the long-awaited fifth season of Game of Thrones, the campaign will be rolled out by Tourism Ireland, through Facebook and Twitter, in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. It aims to once again leverage the incredible success of the HBO brand and the huge global popularity of Game of Thrones and its strong associations with Northern Ireland – the physical home of the production for the series and where much of the filming takes place.
As well as extensive advertising on the two social media sites, Tourism Ireland will also target its own active fanbase – posting and tweeting to its almost 3 million Facebook fans and 226,000 followers on Twitter globally. The ads will direct fans to a specially-created section on Tourism Ireland’s international website, Ireland.com.
Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster said: “Screen tourism is a growth area with high profile, large scale TV and film productions such as Game of Thrones showcasing Northern Ireland on an international scale. Viewers of the series from America, Australia and across the world now know places such as Dark Hedges in Country Antrim and Castle Ward in County Down. I welcome the partnership between HBO® and Tourism Ireland. This campaign will help to encourage audiences from around the world to visit the filming locations and not only experience for themselves the majestic beauty of our countryside but also our local cuisine, restaurants and hospitality.”
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with HBO in 2015, to highlight Northern Ireland and its beautiful landscape – through the exciting events of Game of Thrones – on the global stage. We aim to build on the success of last year’s campaign, reaching out to the show’s global fanbase and demonstrate the spectacular scenery of Northern Ireland. Game of Thrones fans worldwide will see these ads, spiking their curiosity about the landscapes and locations featured in the series and inspiring them to come and explore them for themselves.”
A second phase of the campaign will be rolled out by Tourism Ireland in the coming weeks – with even more surprises in store.