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2023 One Show - Brand-Side / In-House

High Valyrian Lessons

Agency Duolingo / Pittsburgh + HBO Max / New York

Client Duolingo

Category

Brand-Side Initiated & Originated Projects

Annual ID

OS23_BS008S

About the Work

As the world’s #1 language learning app, Duolingo knows entertainment content drives interest in language learning and vice versa. So when HBO Max announced a new prequel to the Game of Thrones series named House of the Dragon, Duolingo saw an opportunity to join the conversation and drive brand awareness. How? By speaking the show’s language. For the new Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, Duolingo partnered with HBO Max to create High Valyrian lessons that teach fans the fictional language from the show. We developed the lessons with the inventor of the language, David Peterson, and featured real phrases from episodes. To launch the course, we bombarded Times Square and Comic-Con with cryptic billboards written all in High Valyrian, hosted a learning challenge with a life-size Valyrian Steel sword as the prize, and filmed viral content of Duo the Owl on the iron throne at HBO Max’s San Diego Comic-Con activation. “High Valyrian Lessons” became the #1 most talked about campaign for Duolingo ever and helped drive fans to HBO Max’s most watched premiere in history. The unexpected partnership generated more than 150 press mentions and 700M earned media impressions around the world with a single TikTok video from the campaign receiving 10.8M views alone. One learner even decided to hold her entire wedding in High Valyrian. So far over 300,000 fans have started learning High Valyrian, but most importantly 43% of them will go on to learn another real language like Spanish or French next.

2023 Awards

Total Points: 21

Credits

Internal / In-House Agency

Duolingo / Pittsburgh

Client / Brand

HBO Max / New York

Art Director

Kai Hovland

Copywriter

Kevin Daley

Chief Marketing Officer

Cammie Dunaway

Creative Director

James Kuczynski

Designer

Neo Zhang

Illustrator

Greg Hartman

Social Media Manager

Katherine Chan
Zaria Parvez

Brazil Marketing Director

Ana Martins

Country Marketing Manager

Colin Watkins
Karan Kapany

Director of Country Marketing

Sho Mizutani

Global Head of Communications

Sam Dalsimer

Lead Business Development Manager

Rachel Wasser

Marketing manager

Chuchu Zhang

Marketing Operations Director

Michelle Sharp

Marketing Program Manager

Jessica Fernando
Jenelle Huddleston

PR manager

Monica Earle

Regional Marketing Director

Haina Xiang
Rebeca Ricoy Paramo

Regional Marketing Manager

Kim De Anda

Senior Director of Business Development

George Audi

Staff Experience Designer

Charlie Barber

US Marketing Lead

Michaela Kron

VP of Marketing

Manu Orssaud

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