This interesting article examines the fan-engagement campaign launched by HBO to raise excitement and enthusiasm prior to the first episode of its epic fantasy series Game of Thrones. The committed fanbase of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series was anxiously waiting for the premiere, and advertising agency Campfire was brought in to promote it’s faithful adherence to the source material and its respect for the lore.
The Maester’s Path was created, and fans were treated to a “five-week long sensory exploration” of the world of Westeros with crafted scent boxes mailed to bloggers and fan sites, an iPhone app, online flash game, and traveling food trucks serving free food inspired by Game of Thrones. Each week, puzzles appeared on the site, and completing them unlocked a preview clip from the TV series and added one of the five links needed to the maester’s chain. After five links, players were required to invite five friends to register for The Maester’s Path. Completing this final task resulted in a special video from George R. R. Martin, thanking them for taking part in the campaign.