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  • Writer's pictureMeredith Montalto

Coffee Cup-Gate: Pay Attention to the Details

Ok, confession time: I do not watch Game of Thrones. But for some reason, I enjoy the Monday morning reactions I read on social media, because – let’s face it – just about everyone else does watch the show and it’s inescapable.

This week, I marveled at how some eagle-eyed viewers picked up on the apparent error of someone leaving a takeout coffee cup on set which made it into the final show. Hilarious memes ensued about the crazy names on the show and how Starbucks baristas always get our names wrong. Some people were very annoyed at the oversight.

It occurred to me that just like on an HBO series, we need to be careful that what we present to our audiences in social media, public relations and advocacy campaigns is accurate, has been fact-checked, edited with a fine tooth comb and stays true to the issue or brand we are promoting.

For example, I know that especially when I work on visual materials in which the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is portrayed, I think about everything from whether the trees in the image actually grow in PA to whether the photo of “government” is actually our state’s beautiful green-domed capitol building. Otherwise, people will not connect if there is a dissonance between the imagery we show them and what they know about our state.

So I get that GOT fans are miffed that a careless mistake from a caffeine fix interrupted the connection they were feeling with the show or their ability to suspend disbelief. It’s all about authenticity, and it’s a good reminder to always have an editor or another set of eyes on your final product before it goes live.


Meredith Montalto is a Director in Ceisler Media's Philadelphia office.


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