Best of 2019: Bud Light meets HBO's 'Game of Thrones' in surprise Super Bowl mashup ad

It started as a spot for the brew, but it turned out to promote GoT as well

Published On
Feb 03, 2019

Editor's Pick

On Creativity through Jan. 1, we’ll be revisiting some of the brand ideas and campaigns that made 2019—and the last decade. Check back on in the new year for the full lists.

Best of 2019

Two unrelated brands unexpectedly came together to deliver the 2019 Super Bowl’s biggest surprise. Bud Light’s “Dilly Dilly” universe collided with Westeros of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” ahead of the popular show’s final season. The mashup, courtesy of Droga5 and Wieden & Kennedy, saw the demise of the brand’s mascot, the Bud Knight, at the hands of GoT villain The Mountain, followed by a massive dragon torchfest.  

Original Story

Following Bud Light’s Super Bowl ad digging on competitors Coors Light and Miller Lite for containing corn syrup, the brand ran a second spot that brought the world of “Dilly Dilly” into a whole new universe--that of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

HBO and agency Droga5, along with Bud Light’s agency Wieden & Kennedy, were behind the 60-second spot “Joust.” It kicked off as a typical Bud Light ad--with the Bud Knight preparing for a face-off in the arena as onlookers cheer him on. To his fans' surprise, the Bud Knight does not prevail. Rather, he expires quite brutally at the hands of his foe--who in a dark twist turns out be The Mountain from "Game of Thrones." Finally, an even more menacing beast swoops in to torch them all--a dragon from the HBO series.

The ad ends promoting the show's final season, set to begin in April. It’s the first push in a broader #ForTheThrone campaign, which will ask fans of the show what they would do to celebrate the series as it comes to a close.

To create the second half of the spot, the ad pulled in 25 crew members from “Game of Thrones,” including Director David Nutter, who helmed GoT’s famous “The Red Wedding” episode. Spencer Riviera of O Positive, who’s directed previous Bud Light spots, was behind the first half of the ad.

"This was about the stars aligning to do something great, regardless of the turf," says Droga5 Founder and Creative Chairman David Droga. "HBO agreeing to this first was key, but we were nervous Bud Light would be near impossible. Hence, our Plan B was to ask BK if The Mountain could kill their Burger King. But to their credit, they embraced it with slightly nervous but open arms. And the bonus was that also meant we got to collaborate with our friends at Wieden & Kennedy. Two brands, two agencies, two directors--one fun outcome."

The campaign is just kicking off, so perhaps The King has something to look forward to.