Eagle-eyed “Game of Thrones” viewers” spotted a Starbucks cup in Sunday’s episode of the well-loved HBO show and faster than you can say, “All men must try… Pumpkin Spice Latte,” social media was abuzz with jokes and conspiracy theories.
While the anachronism seems to be a simple oversight, both companies involved had fun with it.
Starbucks tweeted, “TBH we’re surprised she didn’t order a Dragon Drink,” getting hip with the abbreviation for “to be honest,” and HBO’s statement was straight deadpan: “The latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea.”
For the Seattle-based coffee giant, the seconds-long cup cameo could translate into millions of dollars of free advertising — the kind that usually comes with a hefty price tag from Reese’s Pieces in the now-classic flick “E.T.” to the BMW Z3 replacing James Bond’s Aston Martin in the movie “Goldeneye.”
From the West Coast to Westeros, both brands have throngs of loyal fans who are thoroughly enjoying the misdated misstep in season 8 episode 4.
“It’s a tempest in a tea cup – or coffee cup,” said Bob Killian, CEO of the eponymous Chicago-based branding firm. “There’s no such thing as bad publicity, but I don’t think this will have much impact (except) Dunkin’ Donuts probably is not happy.”
But Karen Taylor Bass said while the coffee-cup gaffe likely won’t transform non-Starbucks drinkers into fans, it will drive sales among people already conscious of the brand.
“Starbucks is the victor in this,” said the Valley Stream, New York-based PR executive at TaylorMade Media. “If you’re the kind of person who hears people talking about it at the water cooler, you’re more apt to say, ‘Let me go to Starbucks.'”