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Step into SHUBOX where you will unbox Aisha’s journey to discovering the stories behind people in Africa and interesting places all over the world. Expect an eclectic dive into history and current events on the intriguing developments in media and entertainment. I am here to give you a piece of myself through my writing by reporting and reviewing all things educative, entertaining and engaging.

-Written by Aisha Sambo

Talk about taking us by surprise. What a shocking twist for the season finale of the world’s most popular show that aired Sunday night, May 19, 2019.

It’s been a week since the season finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones (GoT). To say the least Nigerian fan’s were far from pleased with how the season finale played out. Daenery’s rampage on King’s Landing, John Sown’s reaction and a significant other’s death, to who finally sat on throne. That was a big shocker, eventhough some fans predictions turned out to be right.

In my opinion the last season felt rushed, so many unanswered questions, we deserved at least three more episodes. Let’s not dwell too much on that, I wasn’t displeased with the way it ended but I was sad because the show had really come to an end. A show that lasted (8) eight years and we literally saw these characters grow through our screens. Everyone wanted a piece of GoT, from the fans to the brands. But did they get the most out of it. Was it a hit and miss for the world’s best-selling Scotch whisky, Johnnie Walker (JW) to tie-in advertising with GoT? Let’s dissect.

JW created a limited edition scotch whisky inspired by the most enigmatic and feared characters from GoT, in addition hosted several viewing events across the world to promote the bottle. JW had two events in Nigeria and the winter-themed event saw guests treated to popcorn, ice-inspired attractions, and delicious cocktails of the White Walker whisky. With the unprecedented popularity of the show, the pressure for fans to get invitations to an event sponsored by JW was like a war zone, causing double the screening capacity in both Lagos and Abuja. Die hard fans trooped in to say their final goodbyes to their most beloved character. Celebrity guests in Lagos who attended the event included Don Jazzy, Uriel and Dr Sid. The premiere hosted in two screens, one at Filmhouse Cinema, Lagos and in Abuja at Silverbird Cinema, Jabi. The series were truly loved and you could feel it in the energy in the room through casual conversations.

An average GoT episode has over 32.8 million views worldwide, but did Johnnie Walker really get a piece of the pie during their engagement with the show. Let’s dive deeper. Market research shows that several major brands benefited from tying their promotional efforts to the final season of GoT, including Oreo, Urban Decay, Addidas and Johnnie Walker.

Overall, the sentiment was positive for brands with GoT tie-ins during the final season, which reached new viewership highs on HBO. However, brands using social media to promote their collaborations failed to target female fans, a huge misstep that could have been one reason why some brands didn’t get as much mileage out of their collaborations as they might have, as 42% of the show’s viewers are women. In addition, because HBO doesn’t have ads, brands didn’t have visibility during the actual showings of GoT so they developed other strategies for connecting with fans. The ability of tie-ins to generate buzz for brands was mixed, with only Oreo experiencing a significant difference compared to all other brands.

All in all, the show was fantastic, sad to see it has come to an end but I would watch GoT all over again. The buzz around it was also fantastic, brands and individuals did their fair share of branding their goods and services to tie-in themes and characters from the show. Kudos to HBO, the entire cast and the talented team behind shooting Game of Thrones, an unforgettable journey through the years and an ending fitting for the broken.