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A Moment of Marketing Genius

In case you were unaware (you really should be aware) Sean Bean’s new series Legends aired on TNT last month.  Sean Bean of Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and Goldeneye fame, is no stranger to the power of the internet meme.  He is famous not only by his “Walk Into Mordor” meme but also his death real.   Since 1986 Sean Bean has died in over 20 film and television productions.  On April 13th 2012, webcomic artist Peter Chiykowski from Rock Paper Cynic posted a comic he did mainly about Game of Thrones, pleading to go through the year 2012 without having Sean Bean die in a movie.

But I digress…The genius of the marketing campaign surrounding Legends is twofold.  To expand on the Chiykowski’s idea, Legends promoted the show with the tagline “Save Sean Bean.”  It even had its own hashtag: #dontkillseanbean.  It was a widespread campaign spanning the web and on television.  It is also being marketed across social media with a Facebook and Twitter page and even on promotional materials such as shirts and hats.  I really feel like I should watch the show to either make sure Sean Bean doesn’t die or if he does it is worthy of his epic death reel.

This campaign is a great example of taking an already popular meme and using it for a fully developed marketing initiative.  It was not only successful, but also relevant to twitter and facebook users who might be a younger audience than what TNT usually targets.  What makes this campaign particularly appealing is that it is funny.  The fact that Sean Bean is wearing a #dontkillseanbean shirt on television to promote his show is hilarious.  Here is Sean Bean in a #dontkillseanbean shirt for your viewing pleasure in all its glory: pic.twitter.com/ITZYLuq2HJ.

I think as we begin to expand marking in the social realm we will see a lot more integrated campaigns that are utilizing outlets like YouTube and Twitter.  It should be exciting and entertaining to see how that plays out in the next 5 years.  In the meantime I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a presence on social media as well as a website.  Both work hand and hand to make sure you are targeting potential clients while they are working and playing.