Posted on Wednesday 2 April 2014 by Ulster Business

Game of Thrones to promote Northern Ireland overseas

Arlene Foster is pictured with Chief Executive, Niall Gibbons launching the global campaign.

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster has announced that Tourism Ireland has joined forces with HBO and its smash hit television series Game of Thrones in a new advertising campaign.

HBO is lending its name and logo to new Tourism Ireland campaigns that aim to promote Northern Ireland as a top holiday destination in markets across the world.

The new campaign kicks off with adverts on Facebook and Twitter and will run until early June in Great Britain, United States, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.

Welcoming the announcement Arlene Foster said: "Today's announcement follows months of negotiation with HBO, America's most successful television company whose services reach more than 50 countries outside the U.S.

"The partnership is a major coup for tourism and offers a unique opportunity to promote Northern Ireland, the home of the Game of Thrones series, in a brand new way to the many fans around the world.

"As the fan base has grown substantially over the first three seasons, everyone now wants a piece of the action. The hype is incredible and on the same level as many Hollywood blockbusters, this month's 'Vanity Fair' has even devoted its front cover to a photograph of the cast with the stunning Antrim Coast Road as their picturesque backdrop."

The Tourism Ireland campaign aims to leverage the incredible success of the HBO brand and the huge global popularity of Game of Thrones, with its strong associations with Northern Ireland where much of the filming takes place.

Arlene Foster continued: "The Tourism Ireland adverts have been developed in close collaboration with HBO and are specially designed to bridge the fantasy of Game of Thrones with the reality of Northern Ireland.

"The hugely anticipated fourth series will air on our television screens next Monday and some of Northern Ireland's most scenic locations will once again play a starring role.

"Fans from around the world will see our mystical landscapes, crumbling castles, and hidden scenic gems as various local locations provide stunning and atmospheric settings for the cast. Images of the same landscapes will then be used in the advertising campaign to encourage fans to visit Northern Ireland themselves. This approach is to be commended as it is important that we maximise the tourism potential that the new series will generate."

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: "We are delighted to announce our partnership with HBO to highlight Northern Ireland in a completely new way on the global stage. TV and film are recognised as strong influencers on prospective visitors, so this campaign is a major opportunity to shine a spotlight on Northern Ireland. Game of Thrones fans worldwide will see these ads, spiking their curiosity about the landscapes and locations featured in the series and inspire them to come and explore them for themselves."

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