The past month or so has been a pretty wild ride for Game of Thrones fans. True, the eighth and final season got off to a bit of a slow start – with tons of character development and some dragon riding thrown in for good measure – but the action and intensity ramped up considerably during the third episode, as the Night King and his army of White Walkers and wights stormed Winterfell, resulting in an epic battle that lasted well over 80 minutes.
After plenty of shocking deaths, things then calmed down a little during last week’s episode, as the survivors in the North dealt with the aftermath of the fight and took a bit of a breather. Still, while “The Last of the Starks” was more carefully paced, there was one rather peculiar goof that’s got everyone talking. Shortly after the episode aired, folks noticed that a Starbucks coffee cup had been left on set and accidentally made it into one of the scenes.
Obviously, Twitter went nuts after discovering this and in the days since, it’s been a rather hot topic, with many wondering how the show’s production team could have let it go unnoticed. HBO and Starbucks have both responded to the slip-up as well and it seems that the latter actually benefitted in a huge way from it.
According to a new report, Starbucks gained almost $2.3 billion in free advertising thanks to this mishap. Between the non-stop conversation on social media, all the news stories about it and just the general chatter it created in society, the coffee company is believed to have had a huge amount of free PR thanks to the goof and speaking about the incident, here’s what Stacy Jones, CEO of Hollywood Branded, had to say:
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime collision of opportunity for Starbucks. But really, this is just the tip of the iceberg, because what isn’t being monitored or estimated is the word of mouth and social media on top of this.”
Meanwhile, Dan Hill, CEO of marketing and PR firm Hill Impact, added:
“It’s impossible to put a real figure on how much free advertising Starbucks gets out of the situation, but it’s in a totally different category than product placement because it was accidental, which makes it more valuable… I know people assign a value to these things, ‘more than $1 million in public relations,’ but I think it’s all hogwash, too hard to quantify. Plus this one will live on as a meme, so I guess you could say it’s a gift that will keep on giving.”
Of course, with Game of Thrones coming to an end later this month, none of this will matter for too much longer. In fact, all it’s really doing is getting people even more excited for the second-to-last episode ever of the show, which arrives this Sunday.
Tell us, though, did you catch the coffee cup in last week’s installment? As always, let us know in the usual place below.