Twitter | @barstoolsports

Starbucks Received $11 Million In Free Advertising from Cup Left In GoT Scene

In season eight, episode four, of Game of Thrones, worlds collided. Two powerful forces came together and nobody's sure what it means yet — but it comes complete with a twist worthy of HBO's prized drama.

Things are really popping off in Winterfell.

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We're not going to spoil anything here. But the powerful forces mentioned earlier weren't the Starks and the Lannisters. They were actually two of the world's better-known brands: Starbucks and Game of Thrones.

So there's a scene where Daenerys is sitting at a table in the background.

YouTube | TheCell8

Again, no spoilers here. But anyone who took a close look at Dany's surroundings (and honestly, GoT has gotta be the most scrutinized show ever) found something that warranted a second look.


Twitter | @Sylar_tv

There's a paper cup that looks decidedly out of place. Considering the other on-screen drinking vessel is a straight-up animal horn and the other is an insulated paper coffee cup, it stuck out like a sore thumb.

Everyone called it.

As soon as the scene aired, people took to Twitter to show screenshots of a pretty hilarious gaffe for such a high-budget show. Pretty much everyone who commented identified it as a Starbucks cup.

It was a big deal.

Twitter | @zane

Twitter is already buzzing 24/7 with anything even tangentially related to GoT. It isn't often that a show that's so full of careful editing slips up in such a noticeable way.


Twitter | @REALblackdavis

Unlike shows set in modern/real times, GoT doesn't really have any product placement opportunities. You can't just show Jaime Lannister drinking a Pepsi, y'know? Unless the Valyrians are paying HBO to promote their steel, I just don't see many ways to cash in.

Starbucks even got in on the gag.

Twitter | @Starbucks

I thought Starbucks was making stuff up here, but it turns out the Dragon Drink is indeed a real thing. It looks and sounds like a horrifying mishmash of fructose and coconut.

It's a big win for Starbucks.

Twitter | @theNihalMohd

Thanks to a random mistake on a popular show, Starbucks was trending out of nowhere. That's the kind of advertising a company just can't buy or generate by themselves.

What's it worth?

Analysts say the scene was worth $11.6 million to Starbucks by the next morning. "There have been more than 310,000 [Starbucks] tweets today, and I'd say on an average normal day there are usually less than 100,000 tweets," said a Twitter spokeswoman.

But there's a twist.

Twitter | @migueltheiii

Putting aside this fun fact that I'm like 80% sure isn't true, check out the coffee cups in these otherwise innocuous cast photos. They look a lot like the one in the scene, no?

Let's just come right out and say it.

Twitter | @NialFoster

Some Twitter users said that the cups were not from Starbucks, backing up their claims with some fairly compelling evidence. While the lids look the same as Starbucks lids, the cup itself is way different.

Turns out this place should be getting the credit.

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Established Coffee in Belfast is actually the place whose cup appeared on the show. Hauke Richter, the show's art director, confirmed to TMZ that the local haunt is a favorite of castmembers.

Here's to you, Established Coffee.

Twitter | @established

It seems like a gigantic company getting $11 million of free publicity for a cup that actually comes from a small business is a bit of a raw deal for said business. But here's hoping they get at least a little bit of recognition.

There's so much more I want to know.

Twitter | @JorCru

How did the cup make it into the scene? Who put it there? Will it be digitally removed when season 8 is released on Blu-Ray? So many questions and so few answers.