Dedicated Frodophiles have been raiding New Zealand shores for well over a decade now, in hopes of traipsing through Hobbiton. It’s something the country has not exactly been shy about encouraging either. Now that Game of Thrones has snatched the fantasy crown from Bilbo and company’s wee heads, though, one of the show’s principal filming locations, Northern Ireland, is getting into the tourism trade as well, with a major campaign intended to lure fans to Westeros.
Launched alongside the current fifth season of Thrones, Tourism Ireland’s latest campaign stresses the connection to the show with a series of cheeky stunts. These include setting up old-timey signs that ostensibly point the way to scenic locations such as Winterfell and Dragonstone, which will no doubt delight some and end in tears for others.
The campaign, from agency Publicis UK, does not end with the signs, however. Not when there are so many other creative ways to remind people that Game of Thrones is filmed in Northern Ireland. Tourism Ireland is also getting local businesses involved. At one point, “Targaryen-farmed” dragon eggs were put on sale at St. George’s Market in Belfast, programmed to shake as customers walked by in hopes of seeing one of Khaleesi’s babies hatch. The campaign also deposited loads of era-appropriate weaponry into the sharp objects bin at Belfast City Airport, even though one imagines the Lannisters might not exactly cooperate with TSA agents.
Tourism Ireland is taking and promoting photos and videos of the props and you can track the finds via #GOTterritory. The campaign will continue until just after the series ends its season this summer, but in the meantime, have a look at more images from it in the slides above.JB