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Bud Light / HBO #ForTheThrone Ad — Which Brand Gained the Most?

Feb 7, 2019 | Insights

“Dilly Dilly!” Above: Bud Light’s Bud Knight mascot (RIP? Spoilers?)

We are still basking in the afterglow of Super Bowl LIII, and the accompanying hubbub. Our Super Bowl fevers broken, and our bodies and brains fully restored to our 98.6 °F status quo, we can now ably analyze all that unfolded last Sunday with steely eyes and impartial hearts.

We here have returned to the passion that is dealing with cold, hard statistics. Thanks to the powerful abilities of the StatSocial audience analysis tool, we have insights galore surrounding much of what transpired before the eyes of the world this past weekend.

Join us now for our first entry sharing just a hint of what we’ve learned about all of it.

Winter Arrived, As Promised. So Now What?

Of the Super Bowl Sunday happenings that have folks abuzz this week, few surpass the sight of HBO’s beloved ‘Game of Thrones’ crashing in, and wreaking havoc, on Bud Light’s highly quoted and viral “Dilly Dilly” ad campaign.

An integrated campaign of this nature provides for us a perfect opportunity to highlight the unique power of StatSocial, even if we’re only revealing the tip of our vast mountain of insights.

If you’ve not yet had the opportunity to see the spot, you can check it out here (or you can check out an extended version — courtesy of the official ‘Game of Thrones’ YouTube channel — by clicking here):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoLiRI5swVk

Dilly Dilly?

In August of 2017, a Bud Light spot entitled “Banquet” was unveiled to the world.

Conceived by the ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, the campaign’s medieval setting, and timing of the first commercial’s debut, were chosen deliberately to complement and coincide with the finale of ‘Game of Thrones’’ seventh season.

The campaign really caught on with the public, with its “Dilly Dilly!” catchphrase inspiring a million memes, and finding itself incorporated into countless wedding speeches.

For the Super Bowl LIIIJoust” spot HBO, and their agency Droga5, were brought in as necessary collaborators.

Now, to Some StatSocial Business

The below graphic provides top line statistics, revealing the audience segments with whom the #ForTheThrone / “Joust” spot would certainly have resonated most strongly.

We set about calculating the reported affinities by analyzing hundreds and hundreds of thousands of American ‘Game of Thrones’ fans, Bud Light drinkers, and HBO viewers.

37.71% of Bud Light Drinkers are NFL fans. 20.79% of HBO Viewers are NFL fans. 3.75% of Bud Light Drinkers are Game of Thrones fans. 4.58% of Bud Light Drinkers are HBO viewers.

For basic context, we first established what percentage of each audience is made up of NFL fans. From there we discovered that very nearly 38% of Bud Light’s drinkers are fans of the NFL. As we discussed in an entry posted last week, the brand is the league’s official beer sponsor, and will be for some years to come. As such, we imagine this statistic alone would be pleasing to both league and brand.

Over one-fifth of HBO’s audience are fans of the NFL. This seems beyond reasonable when you consider that the network and the league have been working together, on one program or another, for over 30 years.

Digging down a layer into, specifically, the ‘Game of Thrones’ faithful, a not insignificant 8.5% are NFL fans.

That established, we then set out to determine to what degrees Bud Light’s drinkers were viewers of the program and the network.

A very reasonable proportion of Bud Light’s sizable audience — 4.58% to be exact — are fond of the HBO service. Suggesting that ‘Thrones’ is something of a jewel in the pay TV giant’s crown (if you’ll forgive our metaphors), 3.75% of Bud Light’s greatest enthusiasts are also fans of ‘Thrones.’

As said above, these are only the tiniest hints at the insights we have to offer. Before drawing any definitive conclusions some deeper digging would be advisable. Based on this rather telling data, however, it seems that the vast majority of Bud Light’s HBO subscribing fans may not be in it solely for the ‘Thrones,’ but they do love those ‘Thrones’ all the same.

Summary of the “Joust” Commercial

If you’ve not yet seen the clip, or have not yet heard tell, in brief, it goes like this:

The Bud Knight — a fixture of the “Dilly Dilly”-verse — is shown about to start a jousting match. All is in keeping with the silly and comical tone viewers would expect from these ads. Suddenly, though, things turn ominous. As the joust begins and the horses charge, the Bud Knight is knocked off of his steed and killed. We suddenly see that the opposing knight is none other than ‘Game of Thrones’ character, The Mountain (played here by ‘GoT’’s own Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson). Suddenly, ‘Thrones’’ familiar theme music begins to play as we see a massive, menacing dragon fly overhead. As the spot nears its ending, we see the beast setting ablaze all within Bud Light’s medieval continuity. Words then appear on screen announcing, “Game of Thrones — The Final Season,” then we are greeted by the hashtag “#ForTheThrone,” and finally “HBO — April 14.”

It’s a brilliant commercial. It subverts expected tropes with the utterly unforeseeable demise of a central character — which is pulled right from George R.R. Martin’s storytelling rulebook — and the result is a beautifully executed piece of cobranding. The cultural touchstone that the commercials had initially set out to parody quite literally comes galloping in to lay waste to the whole campaign. By commercial’s end, ‘Game of Thrones’ emerges victorious and wins the coveted and highly valued Super Bowl airtime.

Take a Sniff Around

We did a bunch of football related entries the past couple of weeks, and we invite you head over to the greater StatSocial blog here to check them out. While there, you can also peruse the tons of other entries, offering all kinds of insights, studies, and deep dives to better acquaint you with the capabilities of StatSocial.

Throughout the blog are many examples of the sorts of insights that can only be gained with StatSocial.

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