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Hijacking a Hashtag: 16 brands playing Game of Thrones on Twitter

Leticia Polese - Communications Manager
Apr 9, 2014 11:52:40 AM

gameofthrones_700

Just when you thought spring is here, everyone says ‘winter is coming’.

As you may know, #gameofthronesseason4 started with much fanfare on April 6. With 6.6 million HBO viewers, and many millions of devoted social media-active #GoT fans, this massive premiere event offered brands the opportunity to exploit the cultural zeitgeist, sorry, ‘join the conversation’ through it's associated hashtags.

 

To hijack any trending event, brands should employ the same social media strategy for be it the Superbowl or the Oscars: if you’re going to post something, come up with something fun, engaging and (at least vaguely) relevant and preferably, create some content. Otherwise, irrelevant and desperate attempts at using a trending hashtag could be damaging to the brand reputation and ultimately lead to unfollows.

For Game of Thrones, there were plenty of hashtag hijack #Fails and #Wins to be seen all over Twitter. Here‘s our list of the best brands that tried to (successfully and unsuccessfully) hijack a Game of Thrones hashtag. Keep these in mind next time you decide on hijacking a hashtag.

 

Few brands have a legitimate claim to use a GoT hashtag. Well played by Tourism Ireland, if blood and guts doesn’t attract them, what will? They’re onto something though, just look at what The Lord of the Rings did for New Zealand’s tourism.

https://twitter.com/GoToIrelandCA/status/453072240058171392

 

Respected sources of cultural commentary are allowed to join in, I suppose.
https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/453007771714478081

 

Brands in the relevant field have an argument for joining in, especially as their customers are fantasy fans.
https://twitter.com/ForbiddenPlanet/status/453082169364078592

 

If your store sells the GoT books, it would be a mistake to pass up the opportunity for promotion.
https://twitter.com/WaterstonesNewc/status/453145253420474368
(answer: err, living in the real world)

 

Several brands put in creative effort, creating special products, making amusing little stunts to tie-in. This works:

https://twitter.com/CampariAmerica/status/453216585038053376
As does this:
https://twitter.com/TimHortons/status/452974620325707779
This is how to do it:
https://twitter.com/HouseofCards/status/452972807584886784

 

Although this is pretty poor:
https://twitter.com/TheRitas/status/452887433768480769

 

At least make the effort to hijack the hashtag. Some can actually be amusing (if blindingly unoriginal)
https://twitter.com/eat24/status/452999273609973760
https://twitter.com/Sthn_Hland_News/status/451599721325277185

 

Simply posting a GoT pic doesn't cut it, although it is a great picture Daenerys Targaryen looks amazing.

https://twitter.com/FashionweekNYC/status/452948301873020928

 

At the very least link your brand with the event, even if it is just the slightest bit tenuous. Do these have a link? Maybe (just)
https://twitter.com/WellaPro/status/453169442533289985
https://twitter.com/ELLEmagazine/status/453110026853703680

 

However, it can look a bit desperate when brands with little or no perceivable connection at all turn up at the party. Like, well done.
https://twitter.com/virginmobilecan/status/453162949675204609

 

But, we think SKY needs to remember that working in a call centre does not equal 'the team who brought GoT to you' AT ALL.
https://twitter.com/workforsky/status/453081671651557376

 

What does our product have to with a dungeons and dragonseque fantasy full of sex and slaying? Does it matter? Although this tweet received a few digs, actually they got a few lols from the team here.
https://twitter.com/Clorox/status/452946217169743872

 

There has of course been an avalanche of #gameofthrones Gifs, memes and commentary from the social media community. These aren’t tweets from brands, but we just couldn’t resist, here are the funniest of the bunch:
https://twitter.com/matthew_cruz/status/453018029983408131

https://twitter.com/goldengateblond/status/452978105972699136
https://twitter.com/annehelen/status/453167818423283712

 

While if you're a celeb, you don't need to be funny, you just say, 'OMG'. Like, well done. Life is much the richer for that input.
https://twitter.com/EvaLongoria/status/453036941681098752

 

Keep an eye out... we're sure they'll be plenty more hijacking of #GoT to come!

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