Brands cash in on Game Of Thrones fan frenzy

With the popular HBO fantasy TV series fast approaching its finale, set to air on May 19, brands in the Indian market are milking the fanbase with themed merchandise launches

Published: 05th May 2019 11:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th May 2019 12:39 PM   |  A+A-

The cast of Game Of Thrones.

For India’s multitude of brands catering to the young, urban and semi-urban crowd, the popular appeal of blockbuster television and movie series is a golden opportunity to latch on to some valuable mindspace. One only needs to look at how Indian brands — from fashion and apparel to food and music — have cashed in on the craze surrounding the summer’s two largest releases: the final season of the HBO hit Game of Thrones and Avengers Endgame, the finale to Marvel’s Avengers saga. 

Officially, Game of Thrones’ producers have partnered with a few Indian brands to curate and retail show merchandise. Last week, brand licensing company Black White Orange Brands (BWO) announced that it has curated a series of product lines targeted at the show’s fans. These span a wide range of segments including novelty products like magnets, coasters, posters, mugs, notebooks, phone & tablet covers, premium youth bags and backpacks. 

Soumyadip sinha

The company expects its Game of Thrones licensing and merchandising programme to hit a retail value of Rs 60-70 crore during the year, with its more than 20 active licensees and 700-odd stock keeping units. “We are launching official merchandise in every possible category with over 500+ designs on apparel itself, catering to fans across the country. I would urge consumers to stop buying fakes and be loyal to #TheThrone,” said BWO’s founder and CEO Bhavik Vora.

Among prominent licensees are popular fashion designer Masaba Gupta, Titan’s eyewear brand Fastrack and toymaker Hasbro. Gupta has acquired the license for a limited edition apparel, home products and jewellery line. The jewellery collection will have elements of sigils from the show’s kingdoms, armour, etc. 

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Meanwhile, Fastrack will roll out an exclusive collection of premium segment bags, sunglasses and watches during the month. Hasbro has partnered with HBO to launch a new version of the Monopoly board game called Monopoly: Game of Thrones. Even liquor brands like Johnnie Walker have launched show-related products, including a White Walker Limited Edition Scotch Whiskey. 

Music app Gaana has also set aside a special GoT section which includes playlists called the Wild & Woolly, Dragon’s Den, Afterlife, Powerplay, etc, all paying tribute to the show’s iconic characters. 
Other brands have also gotten on the bandwagon, leveraging the interest the series has generated in the Indian market. For instance, food delivery apps Zomato, Uber Eats and Swiggy all put out special offers/campaigns that were a play on the popular show. 

“Whether you are an official partner or not, tapping into the audience and fan base of popular shows and movies is an effective way to grab eyeballs for brands. This is why you have so many plays on the Game of Thrones. It strikes a cord with the fan base. The same phenomenon holds for Avengers too, which also has a huge fan base in India,” said a marketing executive who worked one of the campaigns. In fact, data collected by social media platform Instagram shows that Indian users seemed to be the most excited in Asia about the show.  

The Avengers franchise has also generated a similar amount of interest from brands in the Indian market. 
For instance, smartphone-maker Oppo unveiled a new Avengers edition smartphone in the run-up to its release (F11 Pro Marvel’s Avengers Edition). Online apparel brand Myntra, Aditya Birla group’s Pantaloons and Max Fashion have also gotten in on the act, as have others like Audi, Durex and Adidas.
For marketers, this summer is the time to harvest the most from the two properties since both franchises are ending with the respective installments. The Game of Thrones’ final season will end on May 19, while Avengers Endgame marks the end of the current phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Avengers franchise.

moolah rush over GoT, Endgame

Both Game of Thrones Season 8 and Avengers Endgame are the concluding installments of their respective franchise and attract substantial attention

GoT has seen brands like Fastrack, designer Masaba Gupta and Hasbro among the more than 20 active licensees launching merchandise 

Brands associating with Avengers Endgame include Audi, Max  Fashion,  Adidas,  Durex, and online apparel seller Myntra

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