Perhaps Starbucks should be bending the knee to Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons, because a rogue Starbucks cup that appeared in front of her during a scene in Sunday night's Game of Thrones is worth at least $250,000 in product placement for the coffee chain, an expert tells MarketWatch. (However, it should be noted that HBO never pays product placement fees since it is an ad-free network.) And it's worth much more than that in PR, she notes: "The PR value on this is well over $1 million in word-of-mouth and how people are actually engaging—look at all of the memes that are being created."
Another expert puts the PR value at closer to $11.6 million after factoring in news coverage and social media chatter, and that was just in the early hours of Monday. HBO has yet to officially comment on the rogue cup, but a Twitter spokesperson confirms to MarketWatch that Starbucks tweets were way up Monday morning: "There have been more than 310,000 tweets today, and I’d say on an average normal day there are usually less than 100,000 tweets." And Starbucks weighed in with a tongue-in-cheek response: "TBH we're surprised she didn't order a Dragon Drink," its official account tweeted. For more fun, Gizmodo and Fortune round up reactions and memes. (Read more Game of Thrones stories.)