"Game of Thrones," HBO's hit series whose Season 7 premiere in July drew a network-record 16.1 million viewers, finished its latest run with a special augmented reality (AR) feature on Facebook Camera, according to news provided to Mobile Marketer. The feature lets smartphone users take video that virtually transforms their appearance to look like the villainous Night King character from the show.
The Night King camera effect included a sneak peek at "The Army of the Dead," a song from the series’ Emmy-nominated composer Ramin Djawadi. The full song was first broadcast in Sunday's season finale and is featured on the Season 7 soundtrack.
The "Game of Thrones" digital and social media team used 3-D scans and textures of the Night King from the show to create the camera effect. The Mill, a video effects and technology company, added AR features to transform user selfies into the Night King.
HBO has embraced mobile marketing to promote "Game of Thrones" while also lifting the audience for its on-demand smartphone apps. HBO Now, premium cable channel's standalone streaming service, more than quadrupled downloads for its mobile app on the day of the season 7 premiere of "Game of Thrones" on July 16, Variety reported. Downloads stayed elevated after the debut, rising to more than 500,000 for Apple's App Store and Google Play during the following week, the publication said.
Mobile technology is helping networks like HBO to reach a broader audience of people who are cutting the cord on cable TV in favor of more customized streaming services. "Game of Thrones" has broken viewership records for the network, and app download data from App Annie only confirms that mobile platforms are playing a bigger role in driving growth. Over-the-top streaming services are seeing similar success via their mobile apps, with Netflix growing mobile app revenue 233% in Q2.
HBO heavily promoted the "Game of Thrones" return on mobile platforms, including through a Snapchat lens that reached 45 million people, according to the platform. The lens, which transformed selfies of Snapchatters into ice zombies from the show akin to the Night King, had a record 122 million impressions for a TV show-sponsored lens and prolonged engagement times with mobile users.