Game of Thrones makes a surprise appearance in Bud Light Super Bowl Commercial

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If you, like me, were hoping for a Game of Thrones ad to air during the Superbowl … well, you got your wish. Sort of.

Bud Light’s agency, Wieden+Kennedy, collaborated with HBO and Droga5 to create the 60-second spot, “Joust,” the latest installment in the medieval/fantasy “Dilly Dilly” series which takes a sudden (and violent) Westerosi turn … though no Super Clegane Bowl pun is made, in case you were wondering.

Production on the ad reunited more than 25 people from the Game of Thrones crew under David Nutter, who is perhaps still best known for directing The Red Wedding. It’s quite fitting, then, that the Game of Thrones elements are introduced into the ad with a rendition of “The Rains of Castamere”.

The first half of the spot was under the direction of Bud Light’s Spencer Riviera, who previously directed creative within the Bud Light medieval universe.

To kick off the next phase of its #ForTheThrone campaign, which asks fans, celebs and brands what they would do #ForTheThrone in celebration of the series’ final season (debuting April 14), HBO says they were “looking for a stage and brand partner that could stand up to the powerhouse the show has become. Bud Light, known for delivering iconic Super Bowl commercials, was the top choice and jumped on board immediately,” and that the reveal of the ad was intentionally left until the game “to maximize the surprise for fans and viewers alike.”

The video posted above is the extended version which was revealed online and includes additional Easter eggs for us mega-nerds to enjoy!

76 responses

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    1. So instead of having to pay the insanely high fee to run a trailer during the SB, HBO managed to get a beer company to pay THEM for the rights to use GoT music, images etc.? And still got lots of buzz for S8 out of it? Whoever cut that deal for HBO deserves a raise.

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    2. Loved it! I’ve thought Bud has been globbing on to the popularity of GoT and profitting from it since their very first medieval commercial. Not a surprise that they’d jump at this opportunity. It was nice to see that pansy, do-nothing Bud Knight get his ass kicked and head crushed.

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    3. Jack Bauer 24,

      You were 100 % right..Trailer after February..I expected at least a teaser that SB Sunday ..A small teaser or Official Poster maybe we get in those 3 next Sundays ..Trailer in March 3 or 10

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    4. Yeah. Mountain shot 00:56 and that final shot of Drogon flying away.

      Clearly differently shot and better looking than other scenes that are commercial quality.

      Or is it just me?

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    5. Brilliant. If they had any concern about whether or not the casual viewer would return after a year off… they no longer need worry.
      I didn’t think they would put out any money for today…. and it looks like they didn’t have to!

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    6. Give the marketing team that came up with this idea a GoT sized bonus, what a Super Bowl spot, use the expected medieval Bud Light commercial to morph into a GoT promo teaser for final series. This saves $$ for both AB and HBO while maximizing global awareness.
      I spotted an Easter egg, behind Bud Knight when he’s handing beer to squires there’s a House Clegane sigil on a banner, 3 black hounds on yellow field.

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    7. So this must be in the Reach and maybe their ruler is someone like Jon Fossoway. Yeah, and the old couple wanting him to drink wine in another ad were Paxter Redwyne and his wife from the Arbor. 😊

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    8. Unbelievable…! After two years of waiting, instead of giving us a trailer at super bawl — they give us THIS? We want a trailer, not this BS. Have they run out of money that they can’t afford a super bawl trailer? We need a trailer to see where this story is going… Just a hint, just a small trailer with some footage.

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    9. That was crap. I don’t actually care if we get a trailer or not, but this was just cringe….Bud Light? Seriously? At least the dragon flame-o’d everyone.

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    10. Pigeon,

      Yeah, it was crap. Excuse the pun: They could’ve paid Ben Hawkeye to hawk Tostitos or something.

      And once again… how do you NOT have a beer commercial without Sandor “How can a man not keep ale in his house?” Clegane in if?

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    11. Did the one that aired during the game not have the April 14th date? I see the extended version has the date, but the one that aired didn’t?

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    12. The expectations for Season 8 are so high – I am beginning to wonder if D&D can meet them.

      I do not pretend to even understand how TV works. HBO has a series running and a gap to the next. They can do their big promotion btw the two..that is do GOT after TD is done.

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    13. If you, like me, were hoping for a Game of Thrones ad to air during the Superbowl … well, you got your wish. Sort of.

      Frankly, I was hoping for a football game to air tonight, but no such luck.

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    14. If you, like me, were hoping for a Game of Thrones ad to air during the Superbowl … well, you got your wish. Sort of.

      Frankly, I was hoping for a football game to air tonight, but no such luck.

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    15. Sunfyre,

      Yes, this advert is already on several lists as one of the best and most original for the night. I only saw this ad so cannot compare them myself but I wanted to see what the entertainment press thought. Of course, everyone has a different preference.

      (Anyone interested – Be careful to look at the lists that were prepared AFTER the game. Several lists are based on adverts provided before the game.)

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    16. Pigeon:
      Bud Light? Seriously? At least the dragon flame-o’d everyone.

      I actually think this is why it worked for me. We watched it here- (I did not tune in for the game today) and we were expecting a twist. But, imagine the viewers of the game- they don’t recognize the rains of castemere at the beginning of the ad (at least I think that’s what it was). They are all waiting for the “bud knight” to whoop some ass- and he gets destroyed in the joust, and then socket-smashed by the mountain himself. Yeah, the dragon comes out of nowhere… but, for me, it was perfect that the whole party was torched immediately after the bud knight was smashed in. It would have really sucked if someone Bud Light somehow prevailed.
      Of course, this might not tip your scales.

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    17. I thought it was effin hilarious, and smart trolling for not so much money.
      Stuff will come in time they shoot all bullets now they’ll have nothing for later.

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    18. So what was the underlying message of the commercial? That Budweiser sucks? Or that the Bud was the Knight of the Boufing Tree?

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    19. Medusa,

      I’m not gonna lie if HBO gives us yet another freaking teaser with no trailer until March I’m gonna be pissed. I mean that’d be ridiculous. Super duper over the teasers as I think most fans are.

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    20. I’d expect character posters within the next two weeks and then maybe the official season 8 poster by early March. Or maybe the season 8 poster first and then the character ones. Don’t remember which came first in previous years.

      I’d say mid March we’ll get a full 2 minute trailer. Then that’ll be it until the premiere.

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    21. I don’t like Bud Light but that was a fun commercial. So should we expect a full trailer during the Oscars since the HBO promo aired during the Golden Globes? I would wonder about viewership but I didn’t think many people watched the Golden Globes yet HBO still aired their 2019 promo so who knows.

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    22. I’m not into football so didn’t know about the commercial but just watched it here and to me it felt like it cheapens the show. Not a brilliant move by HBO marketing imo but forgettable. Maybe I am just a Debbie downer today.

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    23. ygritte,

      I understand your feeling regarding how this matchup cheapens GoT- that was my exact reaction reading the headline above. I guess what I was trying to convey a few posts up was that it is good that GoT took over and obliterated the entire court of nonsense. When the knight went down, I was anticipating him to wake up and offer a beer and a dilly dilly to the f’ing undead mountain, with that kind of awkward hesitation when a situation you are invested in is about to go to hell. Thank you, reanimated-Clegane, and thank you Drogon, for preventing that. I thought it was kind of funny. I bet we get a trailer around the end of the month. And yes, totally agree, this will likely be forgotten once that trailer lands.

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    24. I loved it and found it a brilliant idea! :)))

      And I wouldn’t choose to air a trailer at this time, with other important and much expected trailers coming out. I think it was a wise move of them. They can choose a time for the trailer without any ‘noise’ about other popular projects and make a bigger impact.

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    25. Mango: I did not watch but I also heard complaints about the non-game.

      I also did not watch (have no interest in football), but the reaction I kept seeing on Twitter was that both teams clearly didn’t want to be the one that had to pay a visit to the White House.

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    26. Undead Elephant:
      I hope the mountain wears this armour again in season 8. It’s 10x more epic than the lame season 7 armour.

      Why on Earth would he go back to his previous armor ?

      All of Cersei’s posse have to be in black now, per D&D, so I don’t know why he’d revert back to the golden armor.

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    27. Since I don’t normally watch any commercial TV, this was my first-ever exposure to this “dilly dilly” phenomenon. I had no idea what it was or that it had become a “thing.” And I find it a little baffling. I can remember “It’s a dilly” having been an expression in my long-ago youth, but the implication was something over-the-top, and not necessarily in an approving way. Mostly I remember “dilly dilly” having been part of the refrain in the folksong “Lavender Blue” (the Burl Ives version was still on the go when I first came into the world), but now I’m reading that the creators of the ad campaign claim no familiarity with that source. So why double it up, then? Are they lying because they don’t want anyone to know that some of them are moldy oldies?

      And are they trying to tell us that the world didn’t already have enough imaginative toasts in many languages, requiring the coinage of a really lame one for an ad campaign? Well, I suppose that if you’re trying desperately to make a weak, watery, “lite” excuse for beer seem like something that people in medieval times might have found an acceptable substitute for real beer, ale or porter, the damage is already done even without the new catchphrase.

      Grumpy morning rant over.

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    28. Firannion:
      trying desperately to make a weak, watery, “lite” excuse for beer seem like something that people in medieval times might have found an acceptable substitute for real beer, ale or porter…

      Grumpy morning rant over.

      Okay, not quite over. There really was something called ‘small beer’ in medieval times, but it wasn’t thin and watery. It was ‘small’ only in the sense of having very low alcohol content, to the degree that it could be served at all meals – even to children – as a substitute for water in situations where the local water supply wasn’t safe to drink. In consistency it was the opposite of Bud Lite: often thick and porridgy, a nourishing food as well as a beverage.

      There is a famous gravestone at Winchester Cathedral blaming it for the demise in 1764 of one Thomas Thetcher, said to have “died of a violent Fever contracted by drinking Small Beer when hot.”

      “Here sleeps in peace a Hampshire Grenadier,
      Who caught his death by drinking cold small Beer,
      Soldiers be wise from his untimely fall
      And when ye’re hot drink Strong or none at all.”

      Wise advice still. Avoid Bud Lite, undead Kingsguard and dragons and you’re more likely to live a long healthy life.

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    29. Firannion,

      hahhaa! I understand completely!

      Firannion,

      I have had it many times but right now I do not recall what Bud Light taste like…but I will buy one next time I am out for drinks. Watery beer is fine with me – I am not very sophisticated/refined on drinks.

      Although your second post suggest that weak/small beer could be the end of me!

      Anon,

      Huh?

      If this is about the commercial being original then you should use the entire phrase…”for the night”. Even though many hours have gone by I still did not see the others except for one other with Andy Warhol -but I like the GOT advert a lot! I must confess I do not expect much in terms of trailers before the season starts so was not disappointed in any way by the advert. Plus I have never seen the silly, silly dilly, dilly stuff before – so for me it was quite new!

      Clob,
      From the feedback I have seen -the ads were not great, the game was not great, the concert was not great. Maybe next year?

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    30. Just now, I responded to a bunch of your posts but my note has disappeared. I will try again later if it does not pop out from the loony bin…..

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    31. Firannion,

      Thanks for that informational post! I do recall reading about small beer as an alternative to water. That’s why I didn’t find it particularly surprising Arya asked Hot Pie for ale last season. How clean is the surrounding water after the War of Five Kings, eh?

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    32. Damn. Now we know for sure that HBO got bought out by a huge commercial corporate entity. It sucks that a beer company is making a profit off GRRM’s iconic drama, with HBO’s approval and support. Who is it? Time Warner that owns HBO now?

      I’m getting a feeling our new series will not have that special something we’ve come to love about GOT.

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    33. Dark Sister: How clean is the surrounding water after the War of Five Kings, eh?

      I’m sure I remember at least one passage somewhere in ASoIaF that mentions that, following some big battle (or perhaps Gregor Clegane’s marauding campaign in the Riverlands), the water downstream tasted of corpses. Pass the small beer, please!

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    34. Geez it’s a fun ad. It starts out as a continuation of a long running ad campaign and then does a 180 in a clever totally unexpected way. The great thing is it lulls all the people who don’t drink Bud Light or don’t drink beer who are thinking oh great another Bud Light commercial, I can zone out. Then enter The Mountain and they’re like what the hell is this? And as others have mentioned above the GoT elements, The Mountain and Drogon, come in and basically obliterate the silly Bud Light medieval story & characters. I read that HBOs head of marketing insisted that the Bud Knight had to die at the hands (literally) of The Mountain. This seems smart to me marketingwise in that it paints GoT as the gritty realism counterpoint to the light and silly beer commercial. Hate to use marketing-speak but it is on-brand and consistent with GoTs image and reputation with the public at large as an epic violent fantasy show aimed at adults. Doesn’t cheapen it in any way and displays a winking sense of humor as well.

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    35. I laughed when I saw the commercial for the first time, but I also thought it was a pretty stupid commercial at the same time.

      YMMV.

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    36. I noticed people complaining “where’s the trailer” my $$ is on a trailer being attached to Captain Marvel; remember D&D talking about how they loved the Westworld trailer attached to a film they watched, how cinematic an experience it was to see it on the big screen. I believe this is a clue to how the season 8 trailer will be released. HBO will more than likely release another promo on Valentine’s Day.

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    37. Tyjon:
      I noticed people complaining “where’s the trailer” my $$ is on a trailer being attached to Captain Marvel; remember D&D talking about how they loved the Westworld trailer attached to a film they watched, how cinematic an experience it was to see it on the big screen. I believe this is a clue to how the season 8 trailer will be released. HBO will more than likely release another promo on Valentine’s Day.

      I don’t know. That would be cool, but I think they’ll still just drop it on their YT/Twitter/FB/IG channels. Captain Marvel premieres March 8th though and that’s around the time I expect to see a trailer. 5 weeks from the April 14th premiere.

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    38. Heh, that escalated quickly, as they say. Very clever.

      “I don’t have the plague anymore” was the best line.

      Didn’t watch the game, so thanks for posting this.

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    39. Haha, that was pretty funny, and also very clever of HBO to use Bud Light makers and their marketing budget this way.

      I liked the guy who went all Ellaria, lol!

      Soo… The message is… Bud Light is pretty crap, GoT is the real thing.

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    40. I said it on the older article but given the recent interview with D&D about not doing a trailer for S8 if they had a choice and the James Hibberd line about GOT not giving too much at anyone time this makes me conclude we will only get one trailer this season and that is still 2-3 weeks away.

      I also expect any trailer to be similar to Avengers End Game in that it gives very little to nothing of the plot away and most likely all from the first two episodes.

      Quite honestly they’ve managed to stop all leaks so keeping the fandom in the dark works for them right now.

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    41. I’m the same:)

      The way I am looking at it right now, it’s just over two months until S8 premieres, in the meantime I can start my S1-S7 re-watch and I still have the History of Ice and Fire book to read through so I don’t really need the trailer. Besides I actually really like that we know almost nothing about the final season and we are going in with the possibility of being shocked and surprised, I haven’t felt that way since S6 and I loved that season.

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    42. Medusa:
      SiriouslyStarkTarg,

      What about releasing the Trailer during the Oscars ?

      Genuinely do not see them paying big money to release a trailer during such a huge event as the Oscars. They simply do not need too, at this stage I’d guess they will release only one trailer (which is why they are making us wait so long) and it will likely be when True Detective ends later this month giving them 4-5 weeks to hype things before the premiere.

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    43. Ten Bears:
      lucy,

      I know. They could’ve at least had a five-second spot for ASNAWP’s animated character, Cammie MacCloud.

      Or the trailer for ASNAWP’s new movie, ‘Then Came You’:

      https://youtu.be/SIkRfCKd7Lc

      Which I at least am going to keep hyping (no charge) because much of it was shot in my neighborhood. The waterfront where Asa Butterfield says to Maisie, ‘You terrify me, you excite me,’ at 1:58 is where I go for walks, just down the hill from my apartment. The shop where he gets tased for shoplifting at 1:28 is on the same block as my employer’s offices. I just wish I’d known where they were shooting on those days, so I could’ve strolled casually past!

      PS: It’s a fun movie! Reminded me a lot of ‘Harold and Maude,’ a longtime favorite of mine.

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