As much entertainment as TV shows provide, there has always been a noticeable gap connecting viewers to the digital world. Over the last few years, the most common way to have viewers engage in conversation about a show was through a hashtag, usually watermarked on the edge of the screen. For a while this was considered effective, but short lived. Viewers typically only discuss the show while its airing and engagement numbers tend to drop on off days and in between seasons.
Yesterday, HBO bridged the gap between traditional television and digital audiences by way of a Facebook live stream to announce the premiere date of Game of Thrones season 7. While certainly not the first live stream of its kind, the feature is well on its way to becoming a market benchmark and opens up a new point of engagement with audiences.
The stream consisted of a block of ice, a few flame throwers, and a message telling viewers to type “FIRE” in the comments in order to reveal the date. While simple, the tactic accounted for over 298,000 engagements (at the time of writing this post) and quickly made its rounds on social media. When the block melted, a July 16 date was revealed followed by a teaser trailer for the upcoming season, which has now been viewed over 28 million times and has over 900,000 engagements. If you want to view the reveal video, check out the link here.
The World Was Watching
The stream lasted for just over an hour and had its fair share of technical challenges. Nonetheless, a total of 162,000 viewers were watching when the show revealed a July 16 release date, which is no easy feat for a middle of the day stream that surely halted workplace productivity around the world.
This very instance proves that television (and Twitter, respectively) is no longer the best way to connect traditional audiences on a digital platform, and that Facebook Live is hear to stay. Campaigns such as this can be executed very simply, and for a relatively reasonable budget with the help of an experienced video production company.
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