HBO airs Game of Thrones, Westworld and Sesame Street, so why not mash them all up to teach people about respect?
It’s not the most obvious co-promotion, considering that both Game of Thrones and Westworld take place in brutal worlds where people die at the drop of the hat, and Sesame Street is really a show for kids. But left in the hands of the brilliant creators of all three franchises — and performed by some equally brilliant actors, including Elmo — the result is pure genius.
In the above spot, Elmo takes on one of Westeros’ most challenged relationships — that of at-odds brother and sister Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). Cersei has fashioned herself Queen of the Seven Kingdoms (well, really three, at this point, but no matter) and Tyrion is serving as Hand — chief advisor, to those of you not learned in the ways of Westeros — to Cersei’s chief rival, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). Moreover, Cersei blames Tyrion for killing their mother (died giving birth to Tyrion), father (was in fact murdered by Tyrion) and Cersei’s psychopathic son, Joffrey (poisoned by someone else entirely). So they aren’t getting along too well.
Along comes Sir Elmo of House Sesame Street and he schools them — and all of us watching — on the concept of respect.
“When Elmo has a problem with his friends like Abby or Cookie Monster, Elmo doesn’t get upset. Elmo listens and learns from what they have to say,” he says.
Somehow, this message seems to get through to the Lannisters. “If we stop fighting and work together, we can be stronger,” says Tyrion, and they toast Elmo with goblets of wine, even though Elmo himself is without goblet. “Elmo loves toast!” he says happily, looking around for some toast to be forthcoming.
In another spot, Cookie Monster get lost in the laboratories of Westworld, where he comes upon Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and Delores (Evan Rachel Wood) arguing.
“Respect important for everybody—people, monsters, even you robot lady,” Cookie Monster tells them, and then demonstrates the concept of respect by sharing a cookie with the two. “See me give cookie and me get cookie, just like you can give respect to get respect.”
Needless to say, everyone ends up enjoying delicious cookies and a little respect.
Common, who will appear on the Promax stage in Los Angeles this June, wrote a custom rap for the campaign, with lots of Sesame Street denizens — including Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Elmo (apparently back from Westeros), The Count, Cookie Monster and muppet versions of Cersei, Tyrion, Bernard and Delores all chiming in.
This isn’t the first time HBO has teamed up Game of Thrones and Sesame Street.
In 2015, the show played Game of Chairs, a musical chairs-like exercise in counting that featured Grover Bluejoy.
And in 2017, Jon Snow himself (Kit Harington) took part in Sesame Street’s #SharetheLaughter challenge.
“My joke is, what do birds give out for Halloween,” he says. “Tweets!”
OK, it’s not the world’s best joke, but the campaigns are pure fun.
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