HBO’s $100 Million+ Marketing Campaign – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Despite all the noise about David Zaslav’s quest to find $3 billion in cost-cutting initiatives at the newly merged Warner Bros Discovery, it remains important for the new CEO to spend on content where those dollars pay off.


And where is that? Why, At HBO’s Launch Near $200 Million Game of Thrones spin-off series, House of the Dragon, which premieres this Sunday on both the linear pay-TV channel and streaming service HBO Max. Inform sources Deadline that HBO’s largest-ever marketing campaign is valued at over $100 million in media spend (that’s a combination of ad spot value and hard cash paid out). That’s a theatrical marketing budget the size of a tent pole for all accounts, not a frugal Netflix-esque push to subscribers on the menu. And as Zaslav noted today in his congratulatory memo to staff members (obtained by Deadline) before House of the DragonThe series’ debut has already paid off: the series campaign has “reached nearly 130 million people in the US alone,” while also bringing a united front for a majority of the brands in the Warner Bros Discovery empire to launch these new products. to beat the show.

Pia Barlow HBO Marketing

Pia Barlow, HBO Max EVP Originals Marketing

in conversation with deadline, Pia Barlow, EVP of HBO Originals Marketing, said the mo of the House of the Dragon marketing campaign was to “excite new and existing fans alike,” with the demo being male and female, aged 18-54.

The house of the dragon campaign is really about generating big, broad exposure and interest throughout the summer, but also to make sure we signal existing fans as well as new fans that this is a new Game of Thrones story is coming to HBO Max,” Barlow added.

“It was also exciting to see teams across the company partner with the HBO team in what has been an unprecedented cross-promotional campaign. And we did all this in just a few months, clearly showing what we can achieve when our networks, streaming platforms, digital and social channels all work together to support one shared priority,” Zaslav emphasized this AM. He outlined the conglom’s plan to microtarget viewers in a marketing push that spanned social media, outdoor, digital, traditional TV spots, and sizzling promotions on distribution partners like Xfinity Cable (where a HOTD destination on their X1 and Flex video platforms) and Roku, who also produced a special episode of their content buzz show, The Roku rundown.

House of the Dragon HGTV

Fire-breathing banner ‘House of the Dragon’ on HGTV.

If the House of Targaryen is rich in dragons, then Warner Bros Discovery has a wealth of wealth when it comes to advertising space, with HOTD are pumped through such channels, by iSpot ad stats, such as TBS (20.9%), Discovery (9.1%), TNT (7.7%), CNN (7.4%) and Food Network (6.6% ). If you were watching HGTV, you’d see a fire-breathing dragon pop up at the bottom of the screen during your favorite show in a banner promoting the Ryan J. Condal co-created series. iSpot also reports that 99.1% of HBO promo TV ad impressions since July 20 came from IS CALLED.

Another notable mention in the teamwork for HOTD among the Warner Bros Discovery channels was the exclusive look at the Martin series on Discovery’s debut night shark week on Sunday 24 July. Want more cross promotion? What about the members of TNT’s All Elite Wrestling team who are on the new GOT throne of HOTD at the San Diego Comic-Con experience (read down).

the batter

Warner Bros

Regarding HBO Max’s future success, Zaslav has made it clear that it’s in the catalog of series and major Warner Bros theatrical titles coming out 45 days after they hit theaters. Warner Bros Discovery bean counters see no benefit in distributing movies directly to HBO Max, like the previous WarnerMedia regime under Jason Kilar. It’s a huge waste of money, and their availability in theaters and homes at the same time diminishes their patina, as well as their resonance in subsequent side windows.

Not to mention there’s research to prove that frosh subscribers come for a movie and then turn in the service. It’s the weekly episode of a hot episodic series like HOTD leaving subs locked up. Not to mention that windowed movie theaters on HBO Max click better than day-and-date. We heard that the first weekend of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore on HBO Max after 45 days in theaters ($95 million domestic box office) nearly 20% of traffic drove to the OTT service, while in the picture’s first week it accounted for a third of HBO Max’s traffic .

In addition, Samba TV, the third-party streaming metering organization, reported that the first week of the batter on HBO Max (after its 45-day theatrical run) attracted 4.1 million households, beating the first week of Warner films like The Suicide Squad (3.5M), Wonder Woman 1984 (3.2M), The Matrix Resurrections (3.2M) and Dune (2.3M).

The HOTD campaign started with two teaser trailers released on October 5, 2021 (17.1 million YouTube views) and May 5, 2022 (14 million YT views). But then the marketing mojo kicked into high gear heading to San Diego Comic-Con, where a walk-up trailer dropped (July 20, 18.8M YT view), the Hall H panel featuring the cast, Condal, and an extensive trailer; the DracARys app for hatching dragon eggs, and The Dragon’s House: Dragon’s Den live experience; the latter drew in 4k visitors walking through the series’ castle world, adorned with actors in cosplay. All of these efforts continue to shine for HBO’s social media; SDCC is “the gift that keeps on giving,” says Barlow, earning 102 million impressions and 128K new followers on the House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones social channels.

Barlow says about HOTD’s large footprint at Comic-Con: “The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. It was right on our launch window, and as it was the first time we’d actually be back at full throttle after a few years, we knew there would be pent-up demand and excitement from fans, and we’ve been pretty busy in the past. attended with Game of Thrones at Comic Con. So there was almost an expectation that we also wanted to fulfill for fans.”

RelishMix, a social media analytics firm, has clocked the volume up IS CALLED, say HBO has “taken a solid organic approach to helping fans of the” GOT franchise social network of 44.1 million — already casting pre-production to engage them in new social channels for HOTD, now built on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.” Add in HBO Max’s followers and the social media universe reach for the new Westeros World series stands at nearly 313 million.

“The material has not been flooded, but has been selectively posted, with just 12 videos on Facebook at 11.1 million views and fewer on YouTube at 134.2 million views, all crossposted to earned channels,” RelishMix said in their latest report to Deadline. “The Comic-Con announcements and live panel sparked a wave of material leading up to the streaming premiere weekend.”

house of the dragon snapchat


Next Sunday on the day of the premiere, there will also be a new Snapchat selfie + AR lens that will rotate over the course of the first season. AR developers who are members of Snap’s global Lens Network build custom Landmarker AR experiences in their local markets, including AR renderings of the HOTD dragons as they take over global landmarks. The Landmarker lenses can be unlocked via the lens carousel when: Snapchatters are located near a remarkable location. The lens will be available in areas such as Australia, parts of Europe, India, the Middle East and North Africa, North America and more. The custom Landmarker AR experiences will launch this Sunday in Chennai, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Prague and Rio de Janeiro.

Among the promo partners for IS CALLED, there’s Bose, who had their sound system all over the Dragon’s Nest at SDCC and Duolingo, which kicked off July 19, with fans learning High Valyrian ahead of the HOTD premiere. The app’s TikTok viral mascot appeared on the HOTD Comic-Con activation, reminding attendees to complete their classes with life-size push notifications and dragon command signs in High Valyrian.

Additionally, among the promo partners, there will be a one-month pop-up experience for the series at the Natural History Museum of LA from August 5 to September 5. 7. Inspired by the exhibits, you could explore the relics and traditions of real-life regimes such as ancient Rome or ancient Egypt, the HOTD exhibit includes props, costumes, and specially designed displays to shed light on the history of Daenerys Targaryen’s ancestors.

It would be an understatement to say that the stakes are high here on the rollout of House of the Dragon, not just from a future GOT development franchise corner, but also with regard to assessments. The last season of Game of Thrones big shoes left for House of the Dragon and that was before HBO had the power of HBO Max. GOT the final season averaged 46 million per episode domestically, and RelishMix notes that there is chatter on social media of those who are “still not happy with the ending”. Euphoria In comparison, Season 2 episodes, which had the added benefit of HBO Max, averaged 19.5 million viewers across all platforms.

Still, RelishMix notes social chatter where there’s an “excitement for the new journey back in time 200 years before.” GOT – from protective dragon lovers who insist “no dragons were hurt in the making of the show” and feel they are at the heart of the story – to Matt Smith superfans who are on the brink – to HBO – fans who enjoy the history of quality programming.”

A windfall for reviews HOTD will undoubtedly be one of the first victories for Zaslav’s management style, which seems to break down the walls between all Warner Bros Discovery brands and amplify their synergies to the fullest.

Beamed Zaslav today in the conclusion of his company email: “We are committed to building one team with one mission – the third of three strategic priorities I highlighted in our recent earnings call – and efforts to support the launch of House of the Dragon are a good indication of how strong we are and what we can do when we work together.”

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