- Brands running social media ads to promote collaborations with "Game of Thrones" are failing to connect with female fans, according to a new study from social media competitive intelligence platform BrandTotal that was shared with Marketing Dive. While the majority of brands are primarily targeting men with these ads, 52% of all social media mentions around the show were generated by women, according to Statista data.
- In non-"Game of Thrones" awareness campaigns, Oreo splits its ad targeting 69% male and 31% female, aiming 27% of ads at users aged 25-34. But with "Thrones" themes, the brand increased its targeting to 79% male, and aimed 37% of its ads at audiences in the 25-34 range.
- Adidas, which usually targets ads 71% male and 29% female, upped the targeting to 89% male and 19% female in its "Thrones" ads. Mountain Dew also boosted targeting to men, increasing from its usual gender split of 58% male and 42% female to targeting 71% male and only 29% female.
As "Game of Thrones" enters its eighth and final season, brands are capitalizing on the show's popularity to reach consumers who are excited about the show. Several major brands are making nods to the show in their campaigns to stay relevant and engaging, and while this is a savvy move, many of these brands are missing out by primarily targeting millennial men. Female viewers have been watching the show all along: in 2013, Nielsen found that women made up 42% of the show’s viewership.
As the BrandTotal study points out, women are not only watching the show, but they are engaged in the conversation surrounding it, making more than half of the comments on social media. Brands participating in this trend that aren't considering the female demographic viewing the show will miss the potential to capture the eyeballs and loyalties of these engaged women.
Oreo has said that its "Game of Thrones" collaboration is its largest ever. The effort included a limited-edition pack of branded cookies, and an online video that recreated the show's iconic introduction by animating cookies. Limited-edition packaging could make the cookies a collector's item, and the video — which has racked up nearly 1.5 million views on Twitter — keeps the brand in the social media conversation.
For its part, Mtn Dew's "A Can Has No Name" product, which are printed with thermodynamic ink and appear blank when they're warm but reveal "Thrones" content when chilled, were also a hit on social media. Like Oreo, Mtn Dew also reimagined the show's theme song in a video featuring Migos, The Chainsmokers and others. However, with their overwhelmingly male targeting on social media, the campaigns could be missing not just female "Thrones" fans, but also female grocery shoppers.