Tourism Ireland wins Game of Thrones award

Brian Twomey, Tourism Ireland (right), and Alex Buckland, Publicis, with the award for best international content marketing (travel category) for Tourism Ireland's 2015 Game of Thrones campaign.
Brian Twomey, Tourism Ireland (right), and Alex Buckland, Publicis, with the award for best international content marketing (travel category) for Tourism Ireland's 2015 Game of Thrones campaign.

Tourism Ireland has scooped a top marketing award for its ‘Northern Ireland, Game of Thrones Territory’ campaign.

The International Content Marketing Awards – organised by the Content Marketing Association (CMA) – took place recently in London.

Tourism Ireland was one of ten organisations shortlisted in the “best travel” category for its 2015 Game of Thrones campaign, beating off stiff competition from the likes of British Airways, Scandinavian Airlines and Quantas Airways.

Tourism Ireland joined forces with HBO once again this spring, to promote Northern Ireland around the world – capitalising on the huge global success of Game of Thrones and the fact that much of the show was filmed in Northern Ireland. Timed to coincide with the return of the fifth season of Game of Thrones, the campaign was rolled out by Tourism Ireland, through Facebook and Twitter, in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.

This year’s campaign involved a series of nine micro-action videos, all filmed in Northern Ireland – each one featuring key themes from the show that fans were talking about on social media. The short films, plus a series of images, were distributed by Tourism Ireland across Facebook and Twitter (the spaces where most of the discussion around Game of Thrones was taking place) over a 12-week period during key episodes of the show, generating more than 4.5 million views on Facebook and 38,000 likes on Instagram.

The judges said: “This was a hugely creative idea with incredible results. The entire solution demonstrated great amplification and fantastic multi-platform activation.”

Brian Twomey, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Marketing Communications, said: “We are delighted that our Game of Thrones campaign has been singled out for this award by the Content Marketing Association. We were really pleased to continue our partnership with HBO in 2015, to highlight Northern Ireland and its beautiful landscape – through the exciting events of Game of Thrones – on the global stage. Our aim was to reach out to the show’s global fanbase, spiking their curiosity about the landscapes and locations featured in the series and inspiring them to come and explore them for themselves. We are constantly looking at innovative and engaging ways of reaching potential holidaymakers for Northern Ireland, so we are particularly honoured to receive this award.”

The strength of the connection with Northern Ireland created by Tourism Ireland’s Game of Thrones promotional activity was also reflected in research commissioned by HBO earlier this year in our top four markets – about destinations that people most wanted to visit, having been inspired by TV and film. The County Antrim coastline was listed as the third most popular destination after New Zealand (for Lord of the Rings) and New York (for Sex and the City).