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Enter the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. See categories below. The early entry deadline is on December 9th, 2021.

From the 6th Annual Shorty Awards

Join the Realm Campaign

Entered in Viral Campaign

About this entry

Leading into its third season, Game of Thrones was poised to make the leap from popular television show to global sensation. To fuel this, HBO devised an innovative social campaign dubbed “Join The Realm" that would activate both influential celebrity fans as well as consumers all over the world. HBO and Definition 6 created the Join the Realm sigil creator, a social application designed to drive awareness for the premiere using highly personalized, spreadable media. The site supports 24 languages and is optimized for smartphones, tablets and the latest browsers. Sigils can be exported as Facebook cover images, Twitter headers and Instagram photos. Influential fans including Pau Gasol and Mindy Kaling active on Twitter were sent beautiful VIP boxes inscribed with their “house names." The promotion culminated at Comic-con, where attendees were invited to Join The Realm with activities including creating personalized “House" t-shirts and an Iron Throne photo-op. The Join the Realm sigil creator quickly became a phenomenon, receiving over 1.2MM visits and flooding social channels with over 750k sigils. Much of the app’s success can be attributed to its appeal to both die-hard fans and the mainstream. It proved to be highly relevant and adaptable, as the online community created sigils for NHL teams, Marvel superheroes and fictional characters. Other brands jumped on the trend, including ESPN who created sigils for “Around the Horn." Influencer box recipients engaged their followers and @gameofthrones to share their delight, generating 34MM earned impressions. Lastly, the real-world Join the Realm at Comic-con garnered over 4k visitors over 4 days. Join the Realm spiked word of mouth awareness, helping the premiere to set a record for highest viewership ever seen by the series and generated more social volume than any premium cable show ever. Furthermore, it gave viewers all over the world a way to declare their passion, cementing Game of Thrones’ position as a cultural phenomenon.


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