Nice Day For A Red Wedding

Tuesday, February 18 2014
Nice Day For A Red Wedding

Throwing an event to celebrate the home entertainment release of a bloody series that doesn’t hold back when it comes to claret and climaxes in a bloodbath at a party is not necessarily an easy task.

But if anything the launch of the third season of Game Of Thrones by HBO positively revelled in the gore and buckets of blood from its epic saga.

The special screening, held at the Soho Hotel, was part of a week’s worth of activity from HBO and its PR agency Premier, marking the eagerly awaited release. It begins a busy few months for the series, coming on top of the breaking campaign for transmission of the fourth series on Sky Atlantic.

So how did HBO revel in the release of a season that included the notorious Red Wedding episode that set the Internet ablaze?

Well, for starters, it kicked off proceedings by building a cake, not just any cake either.

As HBO’s head of sales and marketing for its UK home entertainment arm Ian Fullerton says: “There’s some impressive cake-making skills on display here. It took four people 20 hours to make that cake.

“And,” he adds to the audience, “you’re the only peope to see that cake and the only people to eat the cake. It contains chocolate, rum, raisins and a dash of Stark blood.”

The enthusiastic Fullerton then discusses his love of the Red Wedding episode, of which they’ll be screening a special Making Of from the additional series. “It blew me away,” he says, “it’s one of the best hours of TV of the modern television era.” Coming from someone who works at, and has worked on, the likes of The Sopranos, The Wire and more, that’s praise indeed.

And then it’s time for the special guest, Arya Stark, aka actress Maisie Williams.

She talks about her character and the growing up she’s done in the series. “It’s great she’s toughening up, making a stand in this world ,” she says.

xxx also talks about her the episode and the unbelievable reaction to it. “I’ve never seen people tape their friends’ reactions like they did for this,” she notes. There was a woman curled up on the floor with a blanket crying. It’s fantastic.

“I did a Vine [of her own reaction], I hadn’t watched it until then, but I knew it had been aired. The responses went crazy viral. People were tweeting it to me for months afterwards. You know you’re doing it right when the audience is crying afterwards.”

The event came in the middle of an impressive week’s worth of activity. This included, as pictured below, the renaming of the village of King’s Langley into Kings Landing and, in addition to that, the creation of a piece of 3D artwork around the Liverpool street area over towards London’s trendier climes (also the ones with a higher footfall).

Commenting on the former HBO’s Ian Fullerton says: “We’re fully under way with our marketing campaign and looking forward to some strong sales on Monday. Looking at our activity to date, our biggest coverage driver has been the renaming of the village Kings Langley to King’s Landing for the week of release. Such a simple idea but the global coverage has been phenomenal. And it’s been great to see the local residents of Kings Langley getting involved with the local pub putting on a medieval themed menu, the local school children making their own house banners & the village mayor turning up is full mayor regalia for the photo shoot. It’s a good reminder that we’re a nation that love our TV shows and people can’t wait to get involved when you give them the opportunity.”

On the 3D artwork, pictured bottom, artist Joe Hill, founder of 3D Joe and Max, comments: “We were delighted to be approached by HBO to commission this artwork – we knew we had to do something really special to match the sheer scale of this phenomenal TV show that has swept the globe. That’s why The Wall in 3D works from more than one angle – making it a first in the 3D art world.”

Meanwhile, Fullerton has paid tribute to Premier’s work. “It is fair to say that Premier has done an outstanding job on this campaign and not only came up with the ideas of the Red Wedding Cake, the Blogger Screening, The Kings Langley renaming and the 3D Wall artwork stunt but also executed them exemplarily.”