Winter is here. With over 25 million viewers in 2016, Game of Thrones ("GoT") is about to enter its seventh season, July 16th at 9p EST, and if you're planning on enjoying your summer night glued to the TV (or phone/tablet) screen, trust me, you're not alone.
Last year, Parrot Analytics coined a term, demand expressions, which quantifies how popular a show is based on available ratings data (where available), peer-to-peer sharing, and social media chatter. GoT surpassed its competitors with 7.2 million demand expressions per day (the second runner up was The Walking Dead with 4.7 million demand expressions). So what is it about this medieval fantasy that has us shivering with anticipation of winter in the middle of summer? In honor of its seventh season, here are seven reasons why, and more importantly the 'how' that should be followed when creating an iconic brand and following:
#1 Intriguing Storyline
Kings, queens, knights, renegades, liars, and honest men all battling to sit atop the Iron Throne for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros -- what more could you want?Thank you George R.R. Martin's for your best-selling book series "A Song of Ice and Fire," which HBO has incredibly brought to life. If you capture the intrigue of viewers and you'll retain their interest.
#2 Top-Class Writing
Bravo to the minds of D.B. Weiss and David Benioff whose work has everyone yearning for more, especially with being heavy in with violence, sex, and profanity -- a foundation HBO thrives on. The saying, 'Content is King', has a whole new meaning now (think about it).
#3 Great Character Development
Whether they're "good" or "bad," the characters have humanizing qualities, making them completely relatable as their stories evolve from bad guy, to not so bad guy, to possible good guy, but then, oh yeah, he's totally a bad guy. *MIND BLOWN*
#4 Vivid Imagery
Lush scenery, enchanting music, and lifelike effects all lead us to believe a world with dragons, fire, and a towering ice-wall actually exist for an hour each week. Even our wildest dreams have trouble competing with this.
#5 Witty Script
Through various love-hate relationships, we can enjoy smart banter between Brienne of Tarth and Jamie Lannister, Jon Snow and Ygritte, Tyrion Lannister and just about anyone with whom he speaks. The witty conversation feels real and relatable. Outside of GoT, continuing the witty, social banter can bode well for biz, too.
#6 Timeless Emotion
According to psychologist Robert Plutchik, each of the eight emotions are being stimulated: fear, anger, sadness, joy, surprise, anticipation, disgust, and trust (or lack thereof, I'm talking about you, Lord Peter Baelish). GoT tactfully tugs on these emotional chords and almost does too good of a job at it.
No matter who you're rooting for -- Starks, Lannisters, just Danaerius or Jon Snow (many tune in just for that) -- whether or not you've watched from the beginning or just joined as a viewer now, each battle won is as if we fought it ourselves.
Winter is coming -- no wait, it's actually here so get bundled up and ready - even if it is 80 degrees outside.