Inspiration: As Game of Thrones was coming to an end, the anticipation of the final season reached a fever pitch.
Workflow: The moment everyone held hands and decided we were going to let Game of Thrones murder the Bud Knight in front of the entire world, established process kind of went out the window.
Results: We never lost sight of our goal: to immortalize one of the greatest shows on television.
This wasn’t about creating a tune-in message; it was about creating a Super Bowl ad that only Game of Thrones could do.
As Game of Thrones was coming to an end, the anticipation of the final season reached a fever pitch, and the world wanted to be part of it. But in the show, there were no easy paths to the throne. So we asked fans one question: how far would you go?
This question would go on to become the launch of a larger digital and experiential ecosystem that asked people to prove their devotion to the Throne, but to kick it off, we needed an example—one that would set the bar of audacity and fandom we were looking for.
So, on TV’s biggest night of the year, we convinced a brand to perform a GoT-style public execution of their main character— to prove how far they’d go #ForTheThrone.
We wanted to elicit shock and awe. This wasn’t about creating a tune-in message; it was about creating a Super Bowl ad that only Game of Thrones could do. This meant being authentic to—and as ruthless as— the show itself.
Once we landed on the idea, all we needed was an iconic—and willing—partner. We wrote many scripts for many brands, but ultimately, an exciting idea around the death of the Bud Knight was met by an equally excited client who was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and prove their devotion.
Ironic that a world inspired by Game of Thrones itself would be destroyed by it, too.
The nacho-dropping moment we envisioned would take an unprecedented level of collaboration—fusing together two brands, two agencies, two directors, two editors, two sound studios, in an unlikely marriage.
The nacho-dropping moment we envisioned would take an unprecedented level of collaboration—fusing together two brands, two agencies, two directors, two editors, and two sound studios in an unlikely marriage. Naturally there were challenges, but in the end, the key to pulling it off was the very thing our campaign was predicated upon: fandom.
Like an army, each of us had a different role to play: the Bud Light team had to ensure their Dilly Dilly world felt as hilarious and authentic as possible, and the GoT team needed to make the rug pull as gut-punching as it could be.
What every team had in common was a shared ambition to send the show off in a way that was worthy of the show itself.
The moment everyone held hands and decided we were going to let Game of Thrones murder the Bud Knight in front of the entire world, established process kind of went out the window.
The idea was unprecedented and completely new territory, and there was certainly no rule book on how to pull this off. This meant every discipline—from the ambitious clients at HBO and AB InBev to two of the world’s most creatively driven (and competing) agencies to two production companies from completely different worlds—coming together under the banner of shared fandom to create something the world had never seen.
This level of collaboration was the definition of outside the box: two brands, two directors, two editors and, not to mention, two agencies that normally compete for recognition as the very best coming together under one banner. It was the definition of uncharted waters. But this duplication was the only way to ensure both worlds—Game of Thrones and the Bug Light kingdom—remained authentic so that no one could see the twist coming.
Because our team is often in different places, spread across different cities, countries, and even time zones, we primarily use G Suite and Slack to maintain collaboration and productivity.
What’s great about these tools is that they remove the “finished” feel of a PDF and present decks as more of a fluid conversation; inviting clients, or in the case of “Joust,” different agencies and partners, to comment, iterate and build on the work.
Naturally, the moment the office doors closed due to the lockdown, there was trepidation over what “culture” we may lose in the absence of a physical space and the ability to see each other.
What we’re seeing, however, is an unrelenting creative drive and collaboration that has put a finer point on what we already knew about the agency: that the culture of Droga5 is defined by care—caring for every aspect of the work and caring for each other. And we’re finding new and inspiring ways to do both every day.
We always knew that the reaction we wanted to elicit from people was “How the hell did they pull that off?”
From the moment we embarked on this project, we always knew that the reaction we wanted to elicit from people was “How the hell did they pull that off?”
And no matter how tense the creative and production processes became or how many challenges arose that led us to feel that this was the day the project might die, we never lost sight of that. It became our mantra, and it serves us to this day on every project we work on.
Naturally, we’re humbled and grateful to be recognized in this way. Having this work celebrated by the showrunners, George RR Martin and the billions of people on the Internet who seek out entertainment, not advertising, is just proof we never lost sight of our goal: to immortalize one of the greatest shows on television.