Tourism Ireland: Game of Thrones Tapestry
Creating a brand-new tourist attraction for Northern Ireland, with an interactive digital experience
Northern Ireland: Game of Thrones® Territory has been running for four years now with huge success, both in terms of the global attention it has attracted and the increase in visitor numbers.
Following the widely awarded ‘Season 6: Doors of Thrones’ campaign there was a pressure to develop a new, but equally as innovative, campaign to keep our core content-hungry audience engaged.
Tapping into Northern Ireland’s rich heritage of linen manufacture, we created an epic 80+m long tapestry that fans could experience both online and physically, being installed at the Ulster Museum in Belfast. Made of Irish linen, the Game of Thrones tapestry was illustrated, hand-woven and hand-embroidered each week in reaction to that week’s episode of the show.
With production being so reactive to the show’s storyline each week, we had to ensure that all key stakeholders were engaged and genuinely integrated into the process from the very start, from local market contacts, publicity teams, digital implementation as well as agency partners (both media and digital).
To bring this iconic on-the-ground visitor experience to life online, we worked closely with the digital agency to create an experience on Ireland.com.
There, visitors can scroll through the entire tapestry, exploring hotspots referring to the show’s iconic filming locations in Northern Ireland, effectively turning fans of the show into fans of Northern Ireland.
We also produced a suite of content for use across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram including 20” films, time-lapse content, cinemagraphs, teaser films and the brand’s first foray into Instagram stories. Having this volume and variety of content gave us flexibility throughout the tight production process; enabling us to optimise our content by market, channel and format as the campaign progressed.
Regular optimising of assets
Each week we worked with the media agency to review the performance of that week’s assets and optimise accordingly. To ensure the content was flexible and adaptable for cross-market activity, we used our local market task force sessions to optimise trans-created content across market, with any queries or specific market requests quickly addressed and implemented.
The campaign had a total reach of 344 million with nearly €17 million in earned advertising value. Whilst it’s always difficult to judge the direct efficacy of tourism campaigns, we do know that visits to Belfast museum are up by 72% YOY.
Now a brand-new tourist attraction, the Tapestry has become the most visited installation on record in the Ulster museum, and a permanent fixture in Northern Ireland’s culture.