Game of Thrones: Why brands should be inspired by the series

First of all, let’s talk about success. Why is Game of Thrones universally acclaimed, from the ends of Arizona to Shanghai, via Paris? As a matter of fact, there have been other shows just as mythical, i.e. The Wire, recognized as the best series in the world, a deserved title. There were Mad Men and The Sopranos, which clearly marked a departure from the classical series, just like the very first show of the new generation: The Shield or Desperate Housewives, not forgetting Breaking Bad, etc…

The Heroic Fantasy universe of Game of Thrones, similar to that of Lord of the Rings

The first reason: Game of Thrones, just like its very famous predecessor, Lord of the Rings, is written as what we would call a “heroic fantasy,” a fantastical Middle Age universe where dragons and magic cohabit with the world of men. This universe has two decisive advantages: firstly, it is not reliant on a specific history like the history of France or the US, therefore it is also not bound to a specific culture even if, in this case, it is strongly anchored in the Western world. Secondly, heroic fantasy is apolitical. It is seldom that it deals with strong political themes. Usually basic values are featured, such as freedom and justice, but above all the real evergreen of these universes: the eternal fight of good vs. evil. All of this is totally universal. Game of Thrones can therefore be read in any language and all cultures.

The last reason, which is least relevant because science fiction allows for it as well: amazement. Whether it is dragons and magic or space ships and wondrous technology, heroic fantasy and science fiction carry unparalleled potential amazement. However, heroic fantasy’s advantage is that it refers to a culture of fairytales of yesteryear better anchored in our imagination. Almost all the stories from our childhood, our favorite bedtime stories, are linked to an ancient time without modern technology.

Dragons, one of the symbols of fairtyales. Between fear and amazement.

The first conclusion for brands:

Why not dare to make different ads, why not stop the overly stylish videos in a universe too anchored in realism and therefore too cleaving! Why not dare to make magic, true magic, the magic that marvels and not just shiny sequins with a cinematography coming straight out of a magazine. What if brands created their own universes, whether enchanting or inspiring fear, no matter, as long as it was unique! Finally, let’s dare to pursue universality! Even if, obviously, not everything can be universal, a lot of our most basic needs are, indeed.

To be continued in episode two...