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Game of Thrones fortifies anticipation via 360-degree Facebook video

HBO?s Game of Thrones is building fan excitement ahead of its season six premiere by inviting Facebook users to explore the fictional world of Westeros by using their finger to swivel around a 360-degree video of the program?s opening credits.

The popular fantasy series is attempting to reach on-the-go fans via their mobile devices by employing a new marketing trend: the use of 360-degree video placed within social media posts. Consumers may visit Game of Thrones? official Facebook page to watch the video and discover all angles of the interactive map of Westeros shown in the program?s extensive opening credits.

?This is a very smart way to get it out there and get people to test-ride 360 video, which is growing rapidly,? said Roy Deyoung, senior vice president of creative strategy at PM Digital. ?Many people are curious, and some hesitant, simply because they don?t have easy access to a 360 experience to take it for a test drive.?

Reaching new heights
Employing interactive experiences on mobile generally translates to positive customer engagement, especially among digitally savvy individuals belonging to millennial ? or younger ? demographics.

Games of Thrones? passionate fans have been fervently visiting its social media accounts in an attempt to glean any information regarding the upcoming season?s storylines or characters. 

While consumers will encounter plenty of behind-the-scenes footage and teaser trailers from the season six premiere on the official Facebook page, they may also enjoy the more memorable experience of engaging with the 360-degree video feature.

Facebook users can click on the two-minute-long video, which showcases the series? well-known opening theme, and use their finger to swivel through various angles within the clip. This will enable them to soar over the illustrated versions of Westeros? famous landmarks, including King?s Landing, Dorne and Winterfell.

Fans will undoubtedly appreciate having the fully immersive experience on their smartphones, especially as it functions as an optimal distraction for consumers wanting to interact with a bite-sized piece of content.

The video has already garnered more than 6.4 million views, over 177,000 Facebook reactions and more than 121,000 shares, highlighting individuals? willingness to share the 360-degree video with their friends and help spread excitement for the epic fantasy series' upcoming premiere on April 24.

A strong mobile foundation
This is not Game of Thrones? first foray into drumming up fan anticipation by means of mobile marketing.

Last year, Game of Thrones, the first of HBO's series to launch on the standalone streaming service HBO Now, saw its red carpet premiere streamed live on Facebook, showing how the producers of television programming increasingly turned to social media to reach new viewers on mobile in real-time (see story).

Additionally, the show launched the Three Eyed Raven text-powered service last year, named after a plotline in the series, which sent reminders and links to fans that subscribed to receive content surrounding the show.

Once the text was received, users could access a temporary mobile site, where they could view sneak peeks from season five.

However, rolling out a 360-degree video experience will likely strike a resonating chord within many of the show?s enthusiasts, particularly those who enjoy interacting with fellow fans via social media.

The video?s already-strong response also suggests that other popular programs may soon hop on the 360-degree video bandwagon as well.

?In the case of Game of Thrones, with 18 million fans on Facebook, over 3 million followers on Twitter, and the season six trailer on YouTube having already 13 million views as of last week, this is the perfect venue,? Mr. Deyoung said.