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The Evolution of a Game of Thrones Fan

In 2017, we leveraged the Viant Advertising Cloud to uncover the habits and preferences of Game of Thrones fans, a group that includes more than 16.5 million viewers who are just as passionate about their favorite brands as they are about the epic HBO sensation.

But just as the relationship between Arya and Sansa Stark has grown and changed over the last two years, Game of Thrones fans’ relationships to some of America’s top brands have too. We put Viant’s people-based platform, which consists of more than 250 million registered users, to work once again, to reveal the ways in which Game of Thrones fans have changed as the show has increased in popularity.

Cooling on Coffee

When we first investigated the coffee-drinking habits of Game of Thrones fans, one thing stood out: They really like their coffee, and were significantly more likely than non-GoT fans to pick up a cup of joe at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts.

In 2019, Game of Thrones fans are still more likely to purchase coffee than the average TV viewer, just a bit less enthusiastically. They’re 5.5% less likely than they were two years ago to buy coffee at Starbucks, 3.3% less likely than previously to buy coffee at Dunkin Donuts and 9.2% less likely than before to sip a brew from Peet’s.

Retail Revolution

One of the biggest changes in the Game of Thrones fan base appears to be in retail. Back in 2017, we examined fans’ relationships to five top retailers: Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Walmart and Amazon. Then, fans were 3.5% more likely than other TV viewers to shop at any of those stores. Now, they’re 11.6% more likely – that’s a whopping 343% change.

Leading the way in change is Kohl’s. In 2017, Game of Thrones fans were about as likely to shop there as non-fans. Now, they’re 23.2% more likely. Game of Thrones fans are also now 9.3% more likely to shop at Amazon than they were in 2017, as well as 3% less likely to make a purchase at Nordstrom.

Alcohol Adjustments

Compared to 2017, Game of Thrones fans are down on a few liquor brands. Namely, they’re 11% less likely to buy Bacardi, 12.8% less likely to buy Johnnie Walker, 6.2% less likely to buy Grey Goose and 2.8% less likely to buy Absolut. The only increase was Jack Daniels, which they’re now 9.3% more likely to buy.

Those decreasing numbers don’t mean Game of Thrones fans are less likely to enjoy an adult beverage, however. Instead, their preferences have changed. These days, GoT viewers are 21% more likely to buy Jameson, 19% more likely to buy Tito’s and 14% more likely to buy Malibu compared to non-viewers of the show.

*The above information is based off of the Viant IMP Indexing Formula, which calculates matched profiles and data providers.

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