Nonprofit ads tap ‘Game of Thrones’ to highlight real-world conflict

By Alina Tugend, ShortCuts columnist, The New York Times |

The actors in “Game of Thrones,” the epic fantasy series featuring story lines about civil war and banishment, are using the enormous popularity of their HBO series to raise money for real-life victims of conflict and exile.

Beginning Monday, public service announcements and videos featuring the show’s actors will appear urging support for the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian relief organization that aids refugees. The ads will appear online exclusively, including on the charity’s microsite, YouTube and social media platforms.

The campaign will run through the series’s sixth season, which begins April 24, with the goal of raising $1 million. The organization is tapping into a significant audience: The trailer for the coming season of “Game of Thrones” was viewed 32 million times within 24 hours of being posted online on Tuesday.

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