Game of Thrones social media team: ‘We knew people were going to be pretty angry.’

141124-got-sights-1024

Remember how mind-numbingly frustrating those Game of Thrones visions from the Three-Eyed Raven were, beginning in December? Remember how annoyed and angry everyone was, wondering just what the heck the Game of Thrones social media team was thinking with this campaign?

According to Melissa Eccles, creative director of Elastic (the company behind the Three-Eyed Raven campaign), that was all deliberate.

From Mashable:

“We basically manipulated you guys,” [Eccles] said. “It was super fun. I have a mean streak in me; I couldn’t help it.”

“We weaponized time.[…]We took away the one thing you want, which is the ability to watch it again. Rarely do we get the opportunity to piss our audience off like this. We knew people were going to be pretty angry, but it’s the best angry you can have. They were frustrated; they were manipulated; they wanted you to do it again.”

“Honestly, we wanted everyone to feel just a little bit violated,” Eccles said, adding that the resulting social media backlash was exactly what she was looking for. “Man, people were pissed.”

Of course, Eccles does not address the widespread technical issues of the Three-Eyed Raven/Sight campaign, and whether those were done on purpose as well. Every batch of Visions sent only reached a portion of the people who signed up for the Sight. I personally received 50% of the visions, and never received a response from technical support on the matter. My technical problems were not unique, with fans regularly checking in to remark that they never received the Sight visions despite signing up, or to say the visions malfunctioned after being received and they were not able to watch them (since the videos ‘burned’ after ninety seconds).

A large number of fans simply gave up and would wait for others fan to upload the videos to Youtube, because the campaign induced such negative feelings that it wasn’t worth it. So while 1.3 million fans may have signed up at the Three-Eyed Raven website, a substantially smaller number of viewers actually received the Sight. I doubt we’ll ever know the true number.

A social media campaign designed around negativity may get people talking about Game of Thrones but a campaign that doesn’t frustrate without reward will achieve the same thing while building the fan community in a happier fashion. Game of Thrones fans love a good puzzle, and as a fandom, are good at collaborating to solve a problem. The Visions were a problem, but there was no reward, with each vision containing only one or two split-seconds of new footage. The exception was the last batch sent out, containing the short clips of Brienne and Pod, and Jon and Mance.

Game of Thrones fans are extraordinarily good at entertaining themselves in the off-season. Truthfully, there is almost no off-season. Casting and filming for the next season begins right after the current season ends, and so the cycle continues. Fans don’t need frustration and annoyance in order to stay engaged with Game of Thrones year-round, trust me.

There is one other possibility- that Melissa Eccles and the people of social media company Elastic are merely attempting to save face by claiming that the disastrous campaign was not a mistake. I would hope as professionals they’d be above that, but who knows.

For next year’s social media campaigns, my own wish is that Game of Thrones embrace their early technique of engaging the fans with cleverness. The puzzles of season 1 captured fans’ imaginations, and even frustrated them, but in a positive way. That’s the significant difference between then and now. Inducing a passionate response among fans is the goal of a social media company but if when that strong response fizzles out there’s only apathy and resentment, as in the case of the Three-Eyed Raven campaign, they may want to rethink such strategies in the future.

114 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. That makes zero sense.

      I think they are retro-fitting their objectives to the campaign that was eventually delivered.

      I’d also be surprised if HBO is happy with its social media team saying that they wanted to deliberately piss off the fan base.

        Quote  Reply

    2. Yeaaah… No. They fucked up this year.

      People weren’t angry because they only got tiny glimpses they couldn’t watch twice, they were angry because they didn’t get anything at all. The fact that they don’t address this makes them sound pretty clueless.

        Quote  Reply

    3. My first instinct is they are covering their ass because it was such a train wreck.

      But if they did do it on purpose, everyone in this fandom deserves better.

        Quote  Reply

    4. Very well put, Sue.

      Put me in the camp that says they screwed up and are adapting their story to cover themselves. It’s just sad, really. I would have thought the show was above this. I guess we’ll see with next year’s promotion!

        Quote  Reply

    5. I have yet to see a successful marketing campaign with a promotion people could literally NOT SEE AT ALL (I’m not talking about one time and it is gone which IS a tease) and with the marketing team saying we did it on purpose to annoy you. Especially for a product you already know it is a generally seen as worldwide TV success. It has to be the first time. People in the business usually call it a fuck up.

        Quote  Reply

    6. So they’ve adopted the “any press is good press” mentality? So long as we’re talking, they’re happy. Kind of taking the fans for granted. Obnoxious and smug to brag they “manipulated” us.

      Fool me once, etc…

        Quote  Reply

    7. To top it off, I know I’m in the minority of this, but I don’t have a smart phone or tablet. I have a laptop, use twitter on that to follow news items and stuff like Game of Thrones information…. I signed up for the sight, but could not view any of them on my non flip phone, and even my regular wifi twitter couldn’t view the videos. Disappointing all around.

      Agree that there’s a good way to annoy/piss off a fan base and a bad way. This whole campaign was a bad way. Especially for a marketing team that I think has done an excellent job in the past with fan interaction.

      I actually hope that this is Eccles being petty and trying to save face for a lot of failures…. Just stereotyping here, but I have found this to be common in the social media/technical computer jobs. When they make mistakes they try to justify them or explain why it wasn’t really a mistake at all, like their afraid of just saying, “my bad”

        Quote  Reply

    8. I feel like at this point the entirety of the marketing campaign is just lazy. I mean at this point they don’t really have to do much promotion because everyone is going to watch the show anyway and word of mouth is still getting new viewers. However, it would be nice if what they did give us wasn’t lazy and frustrating.

      Bring back the puzzles and the food trucks. Those were fun. We like fun, not frustration.

        Quote  Reply

    9. The point of social media is to have a conversation. If your idea of a conversation is to piss off the people who make up your fan base, you are doing it wrong. All they showed us (for the most part) were images that we saw in previous seasons. This was a poorly done campaign and they are not endearing themselves by telling people they did it on purpose. I would have more respect for them if they would just come out and say they screwed up.

        Quote  Reply

    10. Boy, @melissaeccles “manipulated” the shit out of us! We’re so STUPID, and she’s she’s so smart and funny and clever.

        Quote  Reply

    11. Lol wow… aside from the tech issues, I really did not ever understood why everyone was so pissed off about this. So you only get to watch it once – big fuckin deal, welcome to 15 years ago. So it’s not new footage – Boo hoo. It’s just a little easter egg you wouldn’t have otherwise, then you move on with your life. Is it because it’s the age of the internet we expect to have everything NOW and AGAIN as often as we want? In that case I think the creators really WERE brilliant. They know that internet fans can be pretty insane…

      BTW I really enjoyed the little Brienne clip I got with the last one. I wouldn’t want to watch it again and again, though. I only watch the trailers once too.

        Quote  Reply

    12. Sorry this is completely OT but I just read somewhere else that Aidan Gillen confirmed at the premier

      last night that he will not be appearing in episodes 9 and 10. Is this actual news or have I just not been paying attention?!
      I don’t think I could cope if something really did happen to Littlefinger, not this soon anyway!

        Quote  Reply

    13. Lauren,

      Yep, exactly. Ya know HBO, your fans are your bread and butter. You really do not want to piss off your fans Really what a totally lame thing to do, let alone admit to.

        Quote  Reply

    14. I signed up for the vision and got tweeted a few – every time I followed the link I got the message that the clip ‘was not available for my device.’

      I gave up after about the third one of these.

        Quote  Reply

    15. I forgot to comment on the fact that the Sight’s concept is built on the idea of Bran Stark’s visions.

      And Bran isn’t in this season. Soooo….uh.

      Maybe this would have been a better idea (in a modified and vastly improved version) next year when he’s returning?

        Quote  Reply

    16. “Wow. What a brilliant campaign that was.”, said no one ever, but her.
      I received messages about these on my moto x android based phone; however, the videos were NEVER viewable. The video module would display an “unable to play” error. If the point was to annoy me, she succeeded. What a sucker I am. I fell for the newest trick in the book.

        Quote  Reply

    17. Sue the Fury:
      I forgot to comment on the fact that the Sight’s concept is built on the idea of Bran Stark’s visions.

      And Bran isn’t in this season.Soooo….uh.

      Maybe this would have been a better idea (in a modified and vastly improved version) next year when he’s returning?

      here! here!

        Quote  Reply

    18. Daeryssa,

      Probably not much of news there..

      I don’t think littlefinger or sansa were in episode 9 or 10 last year, for whatever that’s worth

        Quote  Reply

    19. Queenofthrones:
      Lol wow… aside from the tech issues, I really did not ever understood why everyone was so pissed off about this.So you only get to watch it once – big fuckin deal, welcome to 15 years ago.So it’s not new footage – Boo hoo.It’s just a little easter egg you wouldn’t have otherwise, then you move on with your life.Is it because it’s the age of the internet we expect to have everything NOW and AGAIN as often as we want?In that case I think the creators really WERE brilliant.They know that internet fans can be pretty insane…

      BTW I really enjoyed the little Brienne clip I got with the last one.I wouldn’t want to watch it again and again, though.I only watch the trailers once too.

      Just because you got exactly what you wanted out of it, does not make everyone not satisfied with the experience wrong. In launching this campaign, they created certain expectations that were not met, that’s what this is about. These expectations were not unreasonable in any way, so saying that we’re being entitled for getting resentful/frustrated at the campaign is arrogant. If they had never launched this or any other marketing effort, I would have been disappointed, but not angry or offended.

        Quote  Reply

    20. I only got 2 of the “visions” and they didn’t even play. I’m a new fan, and wanted to join in the excitement of my favorite show. But to find out we got played and on purpose! Not they way you go about treating fans then to try and back peddle the fiasco. Very disappointed that this was allowed to happen. Every involved with this underhanded trick should be held accountable. Silly rabbits, tricks are for kids !

        Quote  Reply

    21. “There is one other possibility- that Melissa Eccles and the people of social media company Elastic are merely attempting to save face by claiming that the disastrous campaign was not a mistake. I would hope as professionals they’d be above that, but who knows.”

      I doubt they have the intelligence to do that. The only thing she apologized for was that they only ran once and couldn’t be replayed, NOT:

      1 – Massive technical issues that prevented them from being played at all, or

      2 – The fact that they really WERE NOT Season 5 previews at all; they were just remixed clips from Season 4 — with ONE new screenshot from Season 5 in each.

      Ultimately it was so unsuccessful of a promotion that, as WOTW.com has noted, few people even noticed it was running at all.

      Oh we got two video clips near the end….followed two weeks later by those clips being released through the main HBO website anyway.

      This is what Failure looks like.

        Quote  Reply

    22. Queenofthrones:
      Lol wow… aside from the tech issues, […] So it’s not new footage – Boo hoo. It’s just a little easter egg you wouldn’t have otherwise […]

      Well yeah, from what I gathered there was a *massive* amount of tech issues, which was what the majority of people were angry about.

      I’ll be flinging my money at this show anyway. I’d rather have waited longer for something more substantial, like the scenes with Jon and Brienne. (And I probably don’t need to be “manipulated” or to feel “a little bit violated” by a marketing team, or whatever it is that Eccles believes they were going for.)

        Quote  Reply

    23. I worked in advertising as a writer for over twenty years. A lot of the campaigns I did were digital and social engagement. I have to say, and I don’t like snarking on people, but this campaign wasn’t that great. There was no true reward for the consumer, and that’s what this medium is supposed to be all about. What if they gave you a link to see the snippets instead, and have the link disappear in just a few seconds? How about linking to exclusive content or casting news, or anything, for that matter.

      Fans want to be rewarded.

      And, as said above, it just didn’t work that well, because a lot of people, including myself, didn’t even get some of the tweets.

      The campaign idea of “Receiving the Sight,” is a good one, but it didn’t really live up to its name.

        Quote  Reply

    24. The Sight social media campaign, the Mixtapes, and needlessly reposting old content just served to antagonize fans.

      Many marketing campaigns underperform expectations. But to actively irritate the fans? Negative buzz=buzzkill.

        Quote  Reply

    25. Bott,

      It was the violated part that really bothers me. It’s like the high school bully wanted to keep the geeks in their place. I almost could live with this idea if she had phrased it as she wanted the fans to get the feeling they get where you think something is going to happen and the rug gets pulled out from under you and you are left still trying to make sense of it. Violated is a very poor choice of wording for people to not take offense.

        Quote  Reply

    26. Hodoreo,

      Yeah, we posted his pic in the other thread.

      Mark Addy was there too, so no hype. Richard Dormer is currently starring in a Sky TV show called Fortitude so that’s probably the main reason he was invited.

        Quote  Reply

    27. Lauren,

      ‘Violated’ is one of the words that really set me off as well. It’s gross and insensitive of her if they really aimed for that. Call me dumb but I feel like promo campaigns should get people happy-excited, not negatively emotional and ‘violated.’

        Quote  Reply

    28. Agree with Sue.

      It was a bad campaign regardless of whether it was planned or not. And if it wasn’t planned, it’s sad they’re trying to cover it up.

      Glad I never subscribed for those ‘visions’. Either way, I have no smartphone or tablet.

        Quote  Reply

    29. “The puzzles of season 1 captured fans’ imaginations, and even frustrated them, but in a positive way. That’s the significant difference between then and now.”

      I think this is wrong.. Simply assuming the fanbase is exactly the same now as back then is wrong. It’s constructed totally differently.

      The difference between then and now is that back then you solely had book-fans (and a marginally small group of HBO adepts who were interested) who read the books, and were interested in the show being made. They even had a chance to suggest things to D&D at Westeros. In general, a FAR more inquisitive and concentrated bunch, then the mixed group of people who started watching the show, and the group who have picked up the books since then.

      In general, I think the fans here got jaded on their own accord. This campaign took a theme from the books and turned it into something workable for social media, and people here took their expectations WAY too high. In the books, Jojen is pretty clear that his sight does not have an on-switch. How the heck could people, outside of the initial shock off the thematically correct irregularity, retain their anger and clearly not see the theme is beyond me.

      Seranek: Just because you got exactly what you wanted out of it, does not make everyone not satisfied with the experience wrong. In launching this campaign, they created certain expectations that were not met, that’s what this is about. These expectations were not unreasonable in any way, so saying that we’re being entitled for getting resentful/frustrated at the campaign is arrogant. If they had never launched this or any other marketing effort, I would have been disappointed, but not angry or offended.

      I think you’re completely off-base. They didn’t create expectations, the people here were the ones who jumped upon the hype train and create expectations of getting multiple (according to some; full-length-)previews. While this entire campaign was just to kick the dust up, and that was early to see from the moment they announced itThe catchphrase was iirc: “Experience the Sight”. Think about it: What is the sight? How does Bran/Jojen experience visions? Certainly not on repeat, and certainly fragmented and fleeting.. We got to experience exactly how Bran/Jojen would experience “the Sight”. Yet people here were not accepting, and obviously given the above 50’ish reactions, of that fact and were just jaded. Which I didn’t expect from this fanbase who supposedly knows their stuff. Even Sue (who I respect on several levels) apparently feels the need to dismiss the thematically correct approach and instead turns to take easy stabs at them because Bran is not in this season..

      As for structurally upsetting people per this campaign being their goal. Isn’t that exactly what GoT does best? Did anybody miss fanfavorite Oberyn Martell getting killed off last year? Robb and Cat the year prior? Lommy? Ned? Characters we were emotionally invested in? Game of Thrones is a show that thrives solely by killing off favorites! It’s a show that thrives solely on making you angry and sad and torturing us with that suspense. Violating our emotional ties to these characters by its sheer nature. Lets be honest, this entire show got made because it literally made you throw the book through the room at the end of aGoT. Again, so they took a thematically correct aspect of the show/books. Yet people want to be spoonfed apparently. Funny how a campaign called “the sight” could show how a fanbase can be so shortsighted..

        Quote  Reply

    30. Sue, I couldn’t agree more and I do suspect they were glazing over the technical issues and trying to save face. Their best bet would be to collaborate with people like you (I know they already do, but they could always send you more freebies and let you do more exclusive interviews) because you keep the blood pumping through the veins of this fandom all year long.

        Quote  Reply

    31. what an odd thing to do…can’t say it really bothers me that much though, trailer #2 more than made up for the previously lackluster promotional materials.

        Quote  Reply

    32. The Dragon Demands: 2 – The fact that they really WERE NOT Season 5 previews at all; they were just remixed clips from Season 4 — with ONE new screenshot from Season 5 in each.

      Where did they say they were going to be S5 previews other than people on fan websites? With the sight, Bran looks mostly into the past after all.

      The tech issues sucked balls (apparently), the content was fine. The only thing I object to is people who were (and still are?) foaming at the mouth because the content wasn’t exactly what they wanted. It wasn’t the best thing ever, sure, but it was a little GoT treat on my phone every couple of months – so why the hate?

      Fans are sending the message “If you don’t give me exactly what I want, better not do anything.” Give me The Sight any day rather than nothing!

      Ser Oromis Locke,

      this

        Quote  Reply

    33. Sue the Fury:
      Lauren,

      ‘Violated’ is one of the words that really set me off as well. It’s gross and insensitive of her if they really aimed for that. Call me dumb but I feel like promo campaigns should get people happy-excited, not negatively emotional and ‘violated.’

      She said “a little violated”, not “‘dropped naked in the middle of the street”, or “bullied by the dozens in front of the entire town”-type of violated. But oh well, from what I’ve gathered is that the fanbase wanted something easy, had high expectations, but what I get from this post is that the marketing guys were channeling several inherent aspects of GoT, the sight with all its irregularity and briefness, and playing with/violating our emotions, which is exactly what GRRM/D&D do as well; when they kill off fanfavorites (Oberyn), or why Grenn and Pyp were culled last season. Is that insensitive of them? Or do we simply accept it, because it’s part of a narrative?

      So instead of seeing these aspects of why we watch the show being mirrored in a campaign, we just get angry and don’t try to put it in perspective? Easier to claim incompetence on others.

        Quote  Reply

    34. Yea, not a very smart marketing strategy. Pissing this fandom is the last thing they could have done. We already have to deal with those pathetic Purist, we don’t need anymore angry people.

        Quote  Reply

    35. They could do us all a favor and try a new approach next season with a different marketing team. I liked the production documentary “A Day in the Life” and the 2nd trailer. I liked what Hibberd produced as an embedded entertainment reporter, too, except for reporting the death of [insert character here] which has fans chasing their tails until the “surprise” death happens on screen.

      Well it could be worse. We could be wondering at the identity of the Westerosi equivalent of the Fifth Cylon, while “All Along the Watchtower” begins playing.

        Quote  Reply

    36. “We feel that our loyal subscribers would feel cheated if we made the end into a feature film.”

      “Hey, we meant to piss off our fans. We think it’s funny.”

      Welp, guess that means you’ll have to pony up 40 bucks for an IMAX movie ticket and a pair of 3D glasses to watch the last 3 hours of the series… but only if you live in a major urban center. The rest of you country bumpkins can fuck off.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Scartuna:
      The Red Carpet premiere video is up on Youtube

      Does Sophie and Ian say:
      – Sophie: “I haven’t met your wife, or your son”
      – Ian: “You will, you will”..

      Does that mean that MerynFTrant doesn’t bite it this season? Seems weird to suggest that she would meet both wife and son if he’s off the project!?

        Quote  Reply

    38. Personally the next time I have a chance to sign up for any HBO promotional material I am going to look up Melissa Eccles and if she is still working for HBO I am going to pass. HBO is not getting a single piece of voluntary marketing data from me while this Woman works there.

        Quote  Reply

    39. Sue the Fury,

      It could have been such a cool way to pay homage to a character who we won’t be seeing this season.

      (But I still hope for a passive reference/whisper or two! Listen to the wind near the weirwoods!)

        Quote  Reply

    40. Queenofthrones,

      I have to say it really is strange to me how you can defend them here. It’s very simple: They had to do a campaign that people like (not just a few). They failed to do that. Coming around now and saying that what they wanted is to annoy people is just dumb.

        Quote  Reply

    41. Very insightful. Thanks for the write up!

      Dunno if it’s been discussed elsewhere, but what I find very telling is the trailer view counts. Last year, the first trailer had something like 20 million+ views and this year, the number was much, much smaller. It was still very respectable for a TV show trailer, don’t get me wrong, but didn’t really compare with last year. I’d think that that has something to do with the less than great marketing campaign.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Bott:
      Ser Oromis Locke,

      Unless they were present at the premiere.

      Well, prior to that short excerpt Sophie asks if his wife is with him, and he says no, because she’s shy (apparently). What I quoted happens immediately after this, so that’s why I wondered.

      Abyss:
      Queenofthrones,

      I have to say it really is strange to me how you can defend them here. It’s very simple: They had to do a campaign that people like (not just a few). They failed to do that. Coming around now and saying that what they wanted is to annoy people is just dumb.

      To me, it’s really strange how so many people can’t seem to come to grips with that a campaign that did the exact thing they advertized (doing the sight, like how it happens in the books, i.e. irregularly), and follow a strategy that she show implies: “pissing off/violating viewers, they still don’t simply get it. If you want to be spoonfed or not offended at all, then how in the heck is GoT a show for you, when all it does is offend and violate if your unspoiled? Blindness to that, and to be frank, a gross overestimation of what was supposed to be expected here (when there wasn’t much coming out yet), led to what happened here. People expected the floodgates to open, but they got brief glimpses. The floodgates weren’t promised at all, but brief glimpses were. So who’s to blame?

      Not some incompetent marketeer.

      And for all it intended to do, i.e. brush off the dust a bit, it did exactly that. Because everytime people got a Sight, they flocked here to watch it even if they couldn’t access it themselves. In that respect, the campaign worked.

        Quote  Reply

    43. “We wanted people to feel violated” must be one of the worst lines ever spoken publicly by someone in marketing. It’s made even worse by combining it with something like “they hate it, they want you to do it to them again.” Seriously gross parallels to draw there. So basically, they were trying to groom us for the marketing equivalent of an abusive relationship – and they brag about it?

      Yeah, you’re really marketing yourself well there, Melissa Eccles.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Abyss,

      I guess that (outside of the “can’t watch it” issue which should be addressed) I’m just pretty baffled about why people here hated it so much and I’m trying to get a handle on what the heck is going on. But overall, we’ve no idea how many who got the visions “hated it” vs “liked it” anyway. I’m thinking it’s likely a lot of people just went “huh, interesting” and went on with their day. The ones who it upset are naturally going to be the ones talking about it online. If you liked it there’s not much to say.

      I suspect they did realize before they began that some people (the same minority of fans who microanalyze every piece of released content) would be annoyed by the fact they couldn’t rewatch, and that was indeed part of the point.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Ser Oromis Locke: they flocked here to watch it even if they couldn’t access it themselves. In that respect, the campaign worked.

      Uh no actually it didn’t. You don’t have access to our stats. I do. And our stats didn’t really spike up that much on days the visions were released. The only exception would be when they coincided with something else major like the IMAX release and trailer. The visions caused only minor mumblings of discussion whereas in previous years, actual teasers would get people extremely excited anticipating the new season.

      The number of people who read and lurk has always been far greater than the number of people who comment. Based on the analytics, people checked out the Sight videos but they were not engaged by them. It appears they were either turned off or apathetic to the content of the videos.

      When people are interested in a new trailer, there is a pattern of rewatching the trailer and also rereading a post as even strictly-lurkers are excited to see what people in comments have to say. They share your excitement even if they don’t feel comfortable enough to comment or feel like they have anything to say themselves.

      The Three-Eyed Raven campaign didn’t cause most people to do anything but complain or shrug, and it was a spectacular technical failure, which the Elastic people fail to acknowledge. Consider all the people who will never visit a fansite but would have watched a Vision after subscribing, as 1.3 million people did. That’s a missed opportunity, because those visions weren’t working, and were poor on content anyway. You can’t pretend irritating is the same thing as affecting people and making them interested in your content.

        Quote  Reply

    46. peeps:
      Is it just me or are they slowly removing Arya from the show? She appears less and less.

      Actually, Maisie’s probably going to have more screentime this season than in seasons past. I’m curious to see how they manage to adapt the book material this season to reflect Arya’s journey. We can only speculate, but they may have opted to work through all of her remaining plot points from the books, up through the sample chapter from TWOW and beyond.

        Quote  Reply

    47. So, basically this was a scam to get people’s phone numbers? If HBO hires Elastic again, I’m going to light the biggest fire the internet has ever seen.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Rygritte:
      So, basically this was a scam to get people’s phone numbers? If HBO hires Elastic again, I’m going to light the biggest fire the internet has ever seen.

      Phone number harvesting? Not useful. Social media marketing campaigns attempt to track and encourage engagement, but mishandled as this one was, instead produced enragement.

        Quote  Reply

    49. peeps,

      Don’t worry. Because of how the third book was split between seasons 3 and 4, Arya only had two chapters left to adapt for season 4. They did wonders to stretch those two chapters out for 6 episodes. This will no be a problem no longer. They’re adapting her three chapters from AFFC, two from ADWD, and one from the unpublished TWOW.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Ser Oromis Locke,
      I vehemently disagree with you. You say the campaign was exactly like the sight, random and not on demand. But the sight came whenever Bran plugged in to the trees and even sometimes when he slept IIRC. Every time we tried to plug in, it failed the majority of the time. I registered and never received a single message. And as for it being random….Bran’s sight often did have themes…he saw the people he loved…and ancestors who give insight into current events..he saw things in the future related to current events–even if he didn’t understand it at the time of the viewing. In contrast, Eccles admits the sights she chose were completely random with one new shot as a tease. If the Sight was truly just random, it would be pretty much worthless, but it isn’t that way in the books. Yes, it’s hard to understand but there are things to learn from them. They are not random. There was nothing to be learned from this social media campaign.

      This campaign could have been truly, truly brilliant but they really fucked it up. Eccles could have had a campaign that would go down as a case study in how to reignite a fan base during the off season with clever and context rich content and instead she managed to irritate and piss off the fanbase. If you’re a social media company, why would you irritate when you could intrigue and tease them? I’m a big GOT fan and fan of the book series as evidenced by the videos I produce reviewing the show and my contributions to this site. That campaign made me think less of HBO as a fan because it signaled to me that they were taking us for granted and couldn’t be bothered to put forth any effort at marketing to keep us excited. Part of me is glad that it was just the social media company that screwed up and not HBO, per se.

      I also have over 15 years of Web Programming experience. After hearing her BS, I wouldn’t hire Eccles to wash my windows much less run a social media campaign for me. HBO could have hired me or someone like me at a fraction of the cost and I could done some amazing things with this concept. Blows my mind that she blew such a phenomenal opportunity. I actually hope they fire her or her company for next year because she probably made an awful lot of money for little or negative results. And then had the nerve to lie about it. To me that’s unforgivable in business. If she stays, you’ll see me on here bitching about how some people get to fail upwards.

        Quote  Reply

    51. So I’m supposed to believe HBO marketing made the tactical decision to intentionally annoy the fanbase of their most popular show? During the time period no less, where they are trying to launch their own standalone streaming channel in time for said show?

        Quote  Reply

    52. Ser Oromis Locke: To me, it’s really strange how so many people can’t seem to come to grips with that a campaign that did the exact thing they advertized

      So they advertized that the campaign would be broken for many people and that the stuff that was shown would not be very interesting?

      Ser Oromis Locke: If you want to be spoonfed or not offended at all, then how in the heck is GoT a show for you, when all it does is offend and violate if your unspoiled? Blindness to that, and to be frank, a gross overestimation of what was supposed to be expected here (when there wasn’t much coming out yet), led to what happened here.

      If you had been around in the early days, you would know, that getting spoonfed is the exact opposite of what must people here want. We spend hours solving puzzles given to us by the marketing team and it was maybe the most fun I ever had in this community. – And the show doesn’t offend or violate me, if that would bethe case I wouldn’t watch it. As far as “gross overestimation of what was supposed to be expected” goes, I expected the campaign to be fun, I don’t think that’s unreasonable.

      Ser Oromis Locke: People expected the floodgates to open, but they got brief glimpses.

      They expected the campaign to be working and fun, that’s all.

      Ser Oromis Locke: And for all it intended to do, i.e. brush off the dust a bit, it did exactly that. Because everytime people got a Sight, they flocked here to watch it even if they couldn’t access it themselves. In that respect, the campaign worked.

      In that respect every campaign would work here. This is very the “hardcore” fanbase of the show is.

      Queenofthrones: But overall, we’ve no idea how many who got the visions “hated it” vs “liked it” anyway. I’m thinking it’s likely a lot of people just went “huh, interesting” and went on with their day. The ones who it upset are naturally going to be the ones talking about it online. If you liked it there’s not much to say.

      Maybe not exactly, but we do know that most people here didn’t like it and while this website doesn’t represent the whole fandom, quite a lot people come here. – Of course people complained on Twitter, Facebook, etc. as well. And people do certainly talk about a campaign if they liked it, we have been doing that here for years now.

      Look, I really don’t care that much about the campaign. Everybody makes mistakes or fucks somthing up. What I do care about is people saying that’s what they wanted to do after doing that. That’s just not believable and childish.

        Quote  Reply

    53. It was a weak campaign. It didn’t make me feel angry nor happy. In fact I didn’t care about it at all. I watched the first one. Thought it was poor and didn’t bother with any of the others. As a marketing tool, it failed hard. If they want to kid themselves that they manipulated and angered people then they’re delusional. Their targets audience didn’t care which means they failed spectacularly.

        Quote  Reply

    54. “Rarely do we get the opportunity to piss our audience off like this. ” ? Ah…Really? Let me count the ways: Coldhands, Lady Stoneheart, Euron/The Greyjoys, Marillion, no Arianne, and on and on.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Screwing up something as simple as releasing a 15-second commercial and then talking shit to the fans about it.
      Someone’s getting fired.

        Quote  Reply

    56. I don’t know what’s worse, if they did it on purpose, or if they didn’t…Either complete misjudgement, completely crap delivery, and in both cases, incompetence.

      Answer in a little less than a year, when we see if they hired that company again or found a replacement.

        Quote  Reply

    57. To me the comments from the article sound like someone trying to advertise herself and her company more than anything. Trying to sound edgy, clever and all of that.

      People all over the GoT fandom are giving her what she seems to want: free buzz and advertising, positive or otherwise.

      In a case like this, I’m reminded of the words to an old folk song, “Don’t mention his name, and his name will pass on.” But then I remember it doesn’t really work like that on the internet.

        Quote  Reply

    58. I wonder how they worked up the brain energy for such a dumb campaign.

      Once upon a time, in toilet, far, far away….. a blank wall….

        Quote  Reply

    59. peeps:
      Is it just me or are they slowly removing Arya from the show? She appears less and less.

      I think the clue is in the books, perhaps. I could be wrong. (Adoption of Gibbs Rule 51)

        Quote  Reply

    60. Well, they’re working on the Compendium too (along with some other company) so I don’t think Elastic is going anywhere, anyway.

        Quote  Reply

    61. The Advent Calendar from NY Daily News may be kind of useless but it’s still a better campaign than The Sight.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Love the advent calendar but it needs better content like riddles, puzzles, new images like character posters, fun facts about the show, silly quotes from crew, anything, something! Guess ain’t nobody got time for that.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Sue the Fury: Well, they’re working on the Compendium too

      That explains a lot. Eccles is a troll. I’m surprised she didn’t just text “Hodor!” to everyone who signed up.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Seranek: Just because you got exactly what you wanted out of it, does not make everyone not satisfied with the experience wrong. In launching this campaign, they created certain expectations that were not met, that’s what this is about. These expectations were not unreasonable in any way, so saying that we’re being entitled for getting resentful/frustrated at the campaign is arrogant. If they had never launched this or any other marketing effort, I would have been disappointed, but not angry or offended.

      No, you’re still entitled. You and I are lucky we have the leisure time to waste discussing completely fictional characters and situations which have absolutely NO bearing on the real world. We’re, uh, “lucky” to have television at all really. The way you talk, it’s clear that you have very little perspective on your life and are taking lots of things for granted. Most people in the world live in a world of hand-to-mouth, day-to-day suffering. Some live every moment in fear of their lives. And you have the gall to be unsatisfied by a bloody marketing campaign? Yeah, that’s entitlement, straight-up. Just because you’re a “fan” doesn’t mean you deserve anything.

        Quote  Reply

    65. The whole thing is a demonstration of junior high-level social ineptitude.

      “Oh, I just totally and utterly failed at something. I know! I’ll tell everyone I wasn’t really TRYING and they just aren’t smart enough to understand someone as awesome and beyond-them as I am!”

        Quote  Reply

    66. Daisuke,

      I think everybody is aware that we’re talking “third world” problems here. – I would argue that the statment that the characters of GoT “have absolutely NO bearing on the real world” is actually wrong, but that’s a whole different discussion.

      Going back to the topic of entitlement, I really think the phrase “You are entitled.” (entitled, to what, btw? Seams like somthing is missing here…) is overused these days. Nobady is saying that we are entitled to a good marketing campaign, but if a campaign is poorly done it deserves to get negative criticism for. If I do a bad job, I’m pretty sure people will tell me that. It’s not my place to say that they’re not entitled to the thing I created, just because it was a piece of entertainment or in general somthing other people in the world do not have.

        Quote  Reply

    67. To me, it’s really strange how so many people can’t seem to come to grips with that a campaign that did the exact thing they advertized

      Only it didn’t do what it advertized!

      It advertised that if you subscribed to the service, you would get infrequent bits of small footage.
      It advertised that it would be like the sight, in that maybe you would only get to watch these infrequent bits once.
      It may even have advertised that, as with the sight, you might see things you’ve seen before mixed in with the new footage.

      It DID NOT advertise that, if you signed up, you would not get to play those bits of footage* (or only some bits of footage) – effectively having signed up for nothing.

      That is not what people signed up for, and that is NOT what they advertised. If you make people sign up for something, it’s so that you get their attention and loyalty and they DO ACTUALLY GET SOMETHING, ANYTHING exclusive out of it in return. The marketing team got people’s phone numbers and email addresses, it got useful data, and it got people’s time and attention, and only a fraction of the people got anything in return. If it wasn’t free, it would be fraud.

      *I got messages for about half of the sights, and I was not able to play a single one of them, and many subscribers had the same problem. Many many people didn’t get anything out of it. All I got out of it was a constant frustration with them taunting me with clips I wouldn’t be able to watch even once. If they ever do a campaign again for which they ask you to sign up, I won’t do it. Effectively, for people like me, they have hurt their campaigning for years to come.

        Quote  Reply

    68. Sue the Fury:
      I forgot to comment on the fact that the Sight’s concept is built on the idea of Bran Stark’s visions.

      And Bran isn’t in this season.Soooo….uh.

      Maybe this would have been a better idea (in a modified and vastly improved version) next year when he’s returning?

      I actually think that is a good idea. Give us some Bran b/c we won’t have him in the season. Even better if they carry it on throughout the season. Of course, without the technical issues and with longer visions.

      Also, they should have tied the fiasco into Bran’s story. They could have played it off as Bran being a newbie to the sight and not in full control of his powers. Doing it strictly to piss people off is bad form imo, especially while being to so gleeful about it.

        Quote  Reply

    69. dee: The marketing team got people’s phone numbers and email addresses, it got useful data, and it got people’s time and attention, and only a fraction of the people got anything in return. If it wasn’t free, it would be fraud.

      If you really wanted to go down the road of fraud (not that I would, that would be silly ,imo) you might actually have some standing there. Your phone number and email adress have value (in the right hands quite a lot actually) and I always think twice before I give them away.

        Quote  Reply

    70. Abyss: Your phone number and email adress have value (in the right hands quite a lot actually) and I always think twice before I give them away.

      People usually have to pry that shit out of my cold hands. I rarely sign up for anything or enter contests….

        Quote  Reply

    71. Wow, her response is really bizarre. Sounds like she’s either totally lying, in complete denial, or just unaware of what the actual technical problems were…?

      I actually avoided this whole campaign, when I heard about all the problems. Definitely an all around fail.

        Quote  Reply

    72. I sat on that panel at SxSW, and I have to say, I thought Mashable’s coverage of it was very incendiary. I don’t remember Eccles’ comments being anything like as confrontational as they made them out to be, so I think we should all take a pause and give her the benefit of the doubt. She clearly loves the franchise and her heart is definitely in the right place.

      Full disclosure: I was the Creative Director in charge of the first two season’s fan engagement for Game of Thrones, and Jim Marsh (who was also on the panel) was not only my client but also a pretty stand-up guy. so I don’t think either of them meant to come off as confrontational to fans, so maybe we should all just take a breath.

      Fan passion is an amazing thing – harnessing it and participating in it to forge deep connections between brands and fans is what I’ve built my career on. The key is to not think of fan bases as “them” but as “us”. I became (and still am) a huge GoT fan, and that really helps my creative team create programs that connect with fan bases

      All this complaining about the Three Eyed Raven clips actually reminds me of an anecdote I can share from five years ago. In season one, we created a fan-based campaign called “The Maester’s Path”, a series of puzzles based on the world of GoT. Solving puzzles unlocked short clips, which was pretty big back then, before any episodes had aired.

      I was overseeing the program, and when it came time to request clips, I quite boldly asked for the scene where Jon gives Arya Needle as the first scene. It felt like such a pivotal fan moment that we all wanted to see, and I fully expected the showrunners to turn me down – there’s often a sense of “we want them to see that first on TV’. But to David and Dan’s credit, they agreed, and that moment, when fans first saw the origin of needle as part of our program, was a very special moment for me.

      Regardless, I think all of us GoT fans are really lucky with the way HBO have respected this property, and it’s part of what I think is really the golden age of television.

      ALWAYS SUPPORT THE BOTTOM!

        Quote  Reply

    73. Based on S5E1 perhaps the entire series will be one big practical joke?

      “Are you a virgin?” “No.” “Good.”

      Maybe this is what has lit a fire under Martin’s ass?

        Quote  Reply

    74. Steve Coulson,

      You know how much I love your work from the first two seasons. And I am eternally grateful for the Needle clip coming out early. It was the best thing ever. I screeched, I remember.

      As for Eccles, unless she was misquoted, her words are her words. There is no way to make, “We wanted everyone to feel just a little bit violated,” sound nice. She declares her own mean streak, how much fun she had doing this to people. If it was a joke, it was not a joke that we the fandom were in on.

      And I stand by my assessment that the same end could have been achieved without the negative antics. ‘Treat ’em mean to keep ’em keen’ isn’t much of a strategy. It’s an abusive tactic. And frankly, the technical handling of the campaign was a disaster, which she hasn’t acknowledged at all. Reading the comments from the SXSW talk and from articles like this: http://blog.bottlenose.com/stealth-campaign-for-game-of-thrones-goes-public/ Its like they’re talking about another campaign altogether, one that actually was distributed correctly and contained teaser footage from season 5 instead of 97% old footage until the last visions released. I’m honestly still wondering if they did all of this on purpose or if they messed up terribly and are just trying to make lemonade out of lemons, since they’ve botched this and the Compendium’s roll-out badly a couple months ago.

        Quote  Reply

    75. They F-ed it up and now the PR team tries to cover it up by saying it was done on purpose. Do they really think we are that dumb?

        Quote  Reply

    76. Stannis the Mannis:

      “Are you a virgin?”
      What an odd question for Mel to ask. Would a non-virgin make better shadow-babies? Is there a R’hllor tenet that forbids virgins from being considered Azor-Ahai reborn? If so, that’s understandable…but we need to get to the bottom of this!

        Quote  Reply

    Jump to the Top

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *