I’m just going to begin by saying ‘potential spoiler alert’, although I think we’ve all seen this blunder by now. Not sure what I’m on about? The VERY obvious (although not so obvious to their editing team…) coffee cup that appeared on screen in ep.4 (series 8) of Game of Thrones.
We’re all very quick to make memes and throw jokes around left, right and centre, but have you ever considered that this is what they WANTED to happen? Before we explore that conspiracy theory, we need to delve deeper into product placement and why it happens.
Back In the Day
Going back in time, to when Soap Operas were just coming to fruition, they were notorious for slipping in the odd product placement. This was great for bigger brands as it’s like a 20-30 minute long advertisement. Soap operas actually got the name ‘Soap opera’ from featuring soap products within their shows. Like, a lot.
In more recent years, product placements have grown to be slightly bigger in size and a lot more frequent. Marketing companies using TV and Films as a part of their campaigns has become a popular method of advertising.
Present Day Product Placement
More recently, product placements have become more frequent but cleverly placed. For example, the iconic film ‘Fight Club’ featured a Starbucks coffee cup in every. single. scene. Sure, the dedication is admirable but also, who actually has the time?
On the flip side of that, popular teen TV shows such as Gossip Girl and 90210 shoved their product placements down your throat so obviously that you’d be puking up HP laptops and Covergirl cosmetics for a week.
So, going back to my original point. This coffee cup slip-up in Game of Thrones might not be accidental after all. First of all, the cup wasn’t branded (that in itself is a bit too convenient) so the actual product placement theory isn’t relevant. However, that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t strategically placed there on purpose.
Now, this isn’t for DEFINITE, it’s just a theory. But, this whole palaver got the show a lot of publicity and anyone who’s anyone can see that they’ve been advertising this series of GoT more than normal this time around. So it could be possible that this coffee cup scenario is more than just any normal slip-up.
In Conclusion, Marketing Experts are Genius
Well, there we have it. Regardless of whether it was intentional or not, the whole coffee cup situation definitely gave the show some major Twitter air time, meme recognition and overall promotion through one single mistake.
Personally, I don’t see how they managed to go through so many editing and screening stages and STILL not notice the cup at all, but that’s just me. We all make mistakes (not necessarily ones that were aired on TV across the world, but still…).
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