The company is tying HBO's popular "Game of Thrones" series with its Pixel Chromebook, a hybrid laptop squarely positioned to compete with similar products such as Microsoft Surface. A new ad plays to the tune of Foreigner's "Cold as Ice," and features one frozen Night King who uses Google Slides – software similar to Powerpoint – to coordinate an attack with his undead army against the fictional world better known as "The Realm."
As it turns out, enslaving mankind requires "onboarding new recruits because in Game of Thrones, they are constantly having to build new things," Aude Gandon, global brand director for Chromebooks at Google, says. "The Chromebook shows amazing tools of collaboration with Slides, from writing them together and leaving comments – which was key for us."
The company worked with Richmond, Virginia-based Arts & Letters, which opened its doors last year with Google as its first client, for the digital-only campaign. The agency includes industry veterans such as Charles Hodges, who previously led Apple's iPhone account as group creative director at TBWA's Media Arts Lab.
Gandon says Chromebook has been working on a rebrand for some time, adding that during its research it found that a large chunk of its target audience are fans of the popular HBO series. Gandon also hinted that there may be future collaborations with the show in the near future; Google itself is a major distributor of HBO Now, the network's popular streaming app.
Night King logs in
The Night King himself has a login password that's six characters long. When it comes to writing phrases such as "winter is here," his font of choice is "Iceberg."
"Obviously, Google and laptops don't exist within The Realm, but Google's team did a great job building out a really creative concept, and were open to our feedback throughout to make sure everything remained in the Game of Thrones voice," says Brandt Haynes, HBO's senior VP of digital distribution.
"Google approached us with the idea of exploring what it would be like if White Walkers were to use a Chromebook to plot out their strategies and we saw it as a fresh, innovative way to generate awareness," he adds.
The eighth and final season of "Game of Thrones" is set to air in 2019; a premier date has yet to be set.
HBO has more than 5 million domestic subscribers of HBO Now as of early 2018, which includes those who stream through Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Sony Playstation Vue, Sling TV and Direct TVNow. Overall, it has a total of 142 million subscribers globally, including those who pay for its linear cable service.