Viral marketing case study: Game of Thrones- The Musical gets 15m views

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“Wildling/ You make my heart sing!” With its copious measures of sex, violence and bad language, you’d think Game of Thrones wasn’t suited to a Broadway musical format. And you’d be right. But this spoof video in aid of USA Comic Relief, that paired Coldplay’s Chris Martin with the cast of the hit HBO fantasy series, proved a massive hit on the internet, getting 15 million views.

Case study summary:

  • Charity enlists help of hit show game of Thrones to promote fundraising
  • Viral video spoofs show, with strong messages before and after encouraging donations
  • 12 minute clip gets 15 million views on YouTube
  • The challenge:

    For Red Nose Day on NBC, Coldplay and the cast of Game of Thrones join forces for the band's most important project yet: a musical for HBO’s Game of Thrones.

    The solution:

    As the start of the clip, narrator Liam Neeson tells us that Coldplay are "secretly working" on their Thrones musical. The band create 16 ridiculous songs – from the reggae-tinted "Rastafarian Targaryen" to the Coldplay-sounding "Closer to Home" ("the first romantic ballad about incest in Coldplay's career") to the dramatic show-tune "Red Wedding."

    Only one problem: George R.R. Martin denies the band permission. Undeterred by the bad news, Chris Martin promises to rework his songs, teasing projects like Breaking Bad: The Ballet, Downton Abbey: The Opera and Taken: On Ice.

    The results

    Viewers were encouraged to donate to Red Nose Day USA Fund, a "campaign dedicated to raising money for children and young people living in poverty by simply having fun and making people laugh."

    The video has earned a massive 15m views on YouTube to date.

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