With season seven of Game of Thrones in the books, we await the long winter before the grand finale approaches – at White Walker speed, no less. Until then, fans will have little to indulge in aside from complicated theories, painstaking analyses and reworked comparisons. Like this one.
Yes, this is another Game of Thrones comparison. Yet, this comparison is the first of its name – a “What if?” scenario even Bran Stark couldn’t have envisioned: If a Game of Thrones character became a Westerosi copywriter, which of today’s brands would use their skills to full capacity?
Lord Petyr Baelish aka Littlefinger
Although his boss would have to watch his back, Littlefinger would pen some highly persuasive, albeit sly forms of content. His tricks of the trade would translate perfectly into the social sphere, with clever calls-to-action and language that piques curiosity without setting off your inner clickbait alarms.
Sound familiar? Like Littlefinger, Buzzfeed positions itself as a credible news and information source, yet its strength lies in the headlines that instantly grab our attention, and take us down an unending spiral of listicles, quizzes and pop culture commentaries.
It’s a web we’ve all been caught in. After all, who doesn’t want to know their superhero alter ego or what kind of sandwich they are based on their personality? (I know I do.) Well played, Lord Buzzfeed. Well played.
As a Game of Thrones character who never wastes or minces his words, Tormund would write brand messaging with plenty of heart, and avoid the flowery overtures other brands rely on. Just like in the series, Tormund’s style would work best for brands needing direct, sometimes edgy content for a straight-shooting audience.
Where have you seen this type of messaging before? If you’ve ever visited the Dollar Shave Club website, you’ve already been introduced to the forceful stylings of a Tormund-esque copywriter. And you won’t have to go deep into the site either, because it’s available right on the homepage.
Does “The Best F**King Starter Set (3 Pcs) features the 6-blade Executive razor and the Sh*t, Shower & Shave Trial Kit in your first box.” remind you of anyone? It should. There are few brands that can get away with this type of content and still find success.
Tormund’s certainly heading up this copywriting team – even if it’s ironic that a wildling is pitching a suite of shaving products.
Make no bones about it, Jon Snow is the definitive boy scout of northern Westeros. When a brand needs to build this same level of trust among its audience, Jon is the quiet leader who writes the kind of messaging you can’t help but follow. Just as Jon Snow’s integrity has never been in doubt on the show, clicking a conversion point on any website he authors will make you feel like you’re making a difference, even if he’s just talking you into buying another set of steak knives.
That being said, the King of the North’s skills would best be put to use in a place where his honor can truly shine, like Charity: Water, a non-profit organization that helps people around the world access clean drinking water. Their main message: “Every person on the planet deserves clean water.”
After seven seasons of Game of Thrones, it’s easy to imagine Jon Snow composing this type of brand messaging, particularly after inviting the unpopular, but also vulnerable wildlings south of the wall. He’s always been about saving lives and giving the barest of necessities to those who are sometimes forgotten. It’s only natural he’d find his way here, or somewhere else just as noble.
At the beginning of the series, Sansa Stark may have enjoyed the idea of living comfortably in King’s Landing, but she’s matured over the years – unfortunately by way of some terrible marriages and traumatic experiences.
As a result, Sansa has reached a point of discovering (and exploring) her inner strength, meaning she’d fit nicely into a brand that shares an equally strong approach to messaging. Sansa may have been Louis Vuitton at one time, but today she’s aspiring to things of a more empowering nature.
Where would we find the new Lady of Winterfell? Well, if you’ve followed Microsoft over the past eighteen months, you’ll know they’ve developed an ongoing campaign that encourages girls to make education a top priority. By partnering with empowerment programs like STEM and Girls Who Code, Sansa’s depth would certainly help her deliver on-brand messaging, preparing the next generation of girls for the future.
But, while there’s a need for copywriters whose talents can be focused on a single brand or project, working for a digital marketing agency has taught me that versatility is the most sought-after skill in today’s evolving content climate. If you can write with the persuasiveness of Littlefinger, the directness of Tormund, the purity of Jon Snow and the insight of Sansa Stark – and you can keep your head – you’ll always have a home in Westeros.