How many Instagram followers does it take to catch a dragon? The fifth season of Game of Thrones has finally debuted (more of the season than intended, actually) and to celebrate, HBO’s notoriously impressive social media machine launched a hunting party for fans of the show to find Daenerys’ biggest, baddest, and currently missing, fire-breathing mythical beast, Drogon.
The network rallied the show’s 2.37 million Twitter followers, 423,000 Instagram followers, and more than 14.7 million Facebook likes to #CatchDrogon, and lure the dragon to their feeds with photos, posts, and custom GIFs from Giphy.
If Drogon landed on a baited feed–in the form of a GIF–and the fan retweeted that post before he flew off, or used #CatchDrogon in the Facebook and Instagram comment section, they caught him and would be rewarded with Game of Thrones prizes.
Celebrities and stars of the show also got in on the hunt.
And of course, brands couldn’t resist either.
The campaign, created with agency 360i, follows up last year’s #RoastJoffrey, a digital roasting of everyone’s favorite insufferable ruler, which collected more than 60,000 roasts, 1 million interactions, and 850 million impressions.
HBO’s digital and social media director Jim Marsh says the goals was to run a promotion that would give fans a creative platform they could have fun with. “We’ve worked closely with our colleagues at 360i on several real-time social marketing campaigns including #RoastJoffrey and #TakeTheThrone and our teams have developed a highly collaborative relationship,” says Marsh. “We ask ourselves, as fans of the show, how would we want to participate? Given Drogon was central to this season’s broader marketing campaign, the idea of running an online dragon hunt quickly came to life.”
According to social analytics firm Crimson Hexagon, #GameofThrones generated 948.5K worldwide Tweets Sunday, the highest daily total in the show’s history.