Game of Thrones gaffe gave Starbucks $2.3 billion in free advertising?

If there’s one thing from the latest GOT episode that has gained enough traction as have the spoilers, it the lone standing coffee cup from one of its scenes predicted to be a Starbucks holder. While only a small gaffe, the makers of the hit HBO series have received enough flak for it on the internet – which though uncalled for, has done some surprising good for the coffee giant!

Although Starbucks officials have confirmed that they haven’t paid a single penny to HBO in the advertisement, the misdirected product placement has only worked in its favor. Since the blunder went viral, a string of Starbucks and Game of Thrones tweets or a variation of the series’ hashtag had been initiated on several other social media platforms – a stunt that amounts to free advertising of approximated $2.3 billion for the global coffee brand.

As stated by Dan Hill, CEO of Hill Impact, “It’s impossible to put a real figure on how much free advertising Starbucks gets out of the situation, but it’s in a totally different category than product placement because it was accidental, which makes it more valuable.” Pointing out the popularity of Starbucks instead, Charell Star, director of content and innovation at marketing and advertising firm Essence said, “Starbucks has become almost synonymous for coffee, so it is understandable that viewers assumed the cup on screen was one of theirs.” Well, one man’s doom sure is another man’s (read Starbucks’) gain!


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