June 18, 2024
Max’s ‘Raise Your Banners’ Campaign Culminates in NYC
Vhagar clings to Empire State Building in ‘House of the Dragon’ stunt.

Max took over New York City this June in advance of the season-two premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, on Sunday, June 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and Max, with each episode available to stream on Max as it premieres.  

The weeks-long campaign culminated with a 270-foot installation of Westeros’ largest dragon, Vhagar, wrapped around Manhattan’s Empire State Building via 153 connection points. Through Wednesday, June 19, the building will be illuminated in green with lighting effects every hour. Fans can also visit to take photos of themselves on the Iron Throne and to experience Zynga’s new game, “Game of Thrones: Legends,” on the building’s 80th floor. 

“As we head into the second season of HBO’s award-winning series, House Of The Dragon, we want to give fans all over the world — the very people whose passion has made this series a success — the opportunity to dive deep into the world of Westeros,” said Zach Enterlin, executive vice president, brand, content & creative, streaming marketing, in a statement. “As iconic institutions, sports teams, brands, and local businesses pledge their allegiance to either Team Green or Team Black, we remind fans of the looming battle in Westeros, and call on them to choose a side and raise their banners as the season unfolds.”

Leading into the premiere, Max partnered with digital and experiential agencies Giant Spoon, RQ and Busterwood to bring Westeros to the modern world. Various businesses and institutions around New York City declared their allegiance to Team Green, led by the upstart Hightowers and King Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney), and Team Black, led by Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy), her uncle-husband Prince Daemon (Matt Smith).

The campaign began Monday, June 10 when the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges raised virtual banners for Team Green and Team Black, respectively, via a viral CGI stunt promoted by @WhatIsNewYork and @NYBucketlist.

New York wasn’t the only city hanging digital (CGI) banners. Takeovers of iconic landmarks and buildings took place on Paris’ Eiffel Tower, Rio de Janeiro’s Sugarloaf Mountain, Sydney Harbor, Saudi Arabia’s Al Ula, Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Twin Towers, Obelisco Buenos Aires, Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands and others.

Meanwhile, other landmarks and institutions throughout New York City — including the New York Stock Exchange, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal and the Mets' Citi Field — raised physical banners for their chosen King or Queen, further dividing the city between Team Green and Team Black.

Team Black banners hang at New York City's Grand Central Station.

Local NYC bars and restaurants jumped into the fray, offering custom food items and exclusive House Of The Dragon merchandise. Leon’s Bagels, John’s of Bleecker, Mile End Delicatessen, and The Flower Shop pledged their allegiance to Team Green, while Murray’s Bagels, Roberta’s, Gray’s Papaya and Ray’s pledged their allegiance to Team Black, further fueling the city’s Team Green vs. Team Black rivalry.  

 Max’s Human By Orientation hosted an official “House of Drag” watch party on Sunday in Brooklyn, New York. Hosted by Priyanka of HBO’s We’re Here, the one-night-only, sold-out event featured a “Battle for the Iron Throne” with Fagtasia, a Brooklyn-based theatrical drag collective that is performing and pledging for Team Green or Team Black during the Pride Month event.

RELATED: HBO, Max Just Getting Started When It Comes to Pride

Fans at home were invited to join the fight for control of Westeros through a global “Raise Your Banners” digital character poster generator experience, created in partnership with Media.Monks. Fans can digitally transport themselves to Westeros where they can pledge their loyalty to Team Green or Team Black. The experience is available globally for fans in nine languages until the season finale, allowing them to stick with their chosen side or switch allegiances.

Snapchat launched a dual selfie and world-view lens featuring a high-fidelity dragon with audio machine learning (ML) capabilities. Through these audio ML cues, the dragon can breathe fire and take flight. As the lens gains traction, the audio ML becomes faster and smarter.

Max’s homepage was reskinned with a fiery House of the Dragon background. Viewers using the Max app are greeted with a preview video showcasing Rhaenyra’s yellow dragon Syrax alongside a festive Max logo. A new list of profile avatars with House of the Dragon characters are available for fans to personalize their profiles.

Max also worked with Apple to create an updated “Iron Throne Room,” an immersive environment on Apple Vision Pro, that includes hanging green banners, the epic Targaryen-era Iron Throne, and a never-before-seen mural of King’s Landing on the ceiling, along with ambient spatial audio that brings the room to life. 

Finally, fans can dive into the World of Westeros collection page, home to “The Game of Thrones Podcast: House of the Dragon,” the official HBO companion podcast to the series, as well as behind-the-scenes posts and other extras.

 House of the Dragon premiered to an audience of 7.8 million viewers on HBO on Sunday night, down 22% from the series premiere’s 10 million viewers in 2022. Max, however, boasted its biggest streaming day ever with the show’s return, according to Variety.

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