HBO Blamed for Global Auto Sales Freeze

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Ohio Dealership GM (who bears a striking resemblance to Sanza Stark, as played by Sophie Turner) looks around her empty dealership.
Samantha Sustarque, GM of Sustarque Motor Group surveys her empty dealership on Sunday, May 19th.

Westerosi, OH – They say every time a dealership tries to sell a car on Sunday, the gods toss a coin, and the world holds its breath. Okay, maybe not the whole world but, according to an Ohio-based family of dealerships, Sunday, May 19th presented a day of both cautious trepidation and celebration – not just for themselves, but for the automotive landscape as a whole. It’s live auto news at its finest.

A depiction of ‘Blue Law’ states that prohibit or restrict automotive sales on Sundays.
Above, a depiction of ‘Blue Law’ states that prohibit or restrict automotive sales on Sundays.

It’s estimated that somewhere around 14 million cars are sold each day in the United States. Of course, the prevalence of Blue Laws in certain states reduces this number significantly on Sundays. But for several weeks leading up to May 19th, the remaining balance of auto sales expected each Sunday had been all but wiped out, to relative nothingness. And according to Tim Martell, celebrated author and automotive SEO guru, it’s clear who’s to blame.

“When you play the game of SEO, you win or you die,” explained Martell, his neatly-trimmed beard still dripping with the beer he had all-but drained from a jewel-encrusted goblet. “And you know who makes SEO happen? Nerds. And what were nerds doing on Sunday, May 19th? The same thing they’ve done for 70 previous Sundays since 2011. They’re getting ready to watch ‘Game of Thrones’.”

'Game of Thrones' Cosplayers
A group of SEO professionals photographed in their office last Friday. And yes, it was “Casual Friday”.

That’s when Martell threw the goblet across the room, where it shattered against the wall just behind us. Needless to say, we ran quickly for the door but, if there’s one thing we know, it’s that Tim Martell does two things: he drinks, and he knows things. So, of course, the takeaway was that there had been an absence of automotive search engine optimization on Sundays during ‘Game of Thrones’ season. But that couldn’t cripple an entire industry could it?

According to Samantha Sustarque, General Manager of the Sustarque Motor Group in northern Ohio, the answer is yes. “It’s been a difficult eight years for everyone,” she adds. ‘I’m a slow learner, it’s true. But I learn. Thank you for your many lessons, HBO. I will never forget them.”

Viewing Numbers for 'Game of Thrones' (Season 1-8)
Viewing Numbers for ‘Game of Thrones’ (Season 1-8)

Despite some viewer complaints in this, the eighth and final season, viewership has progressively and reliably increased over the seven seasons prior. While final viewing numbers have yet to be released, the finale was projected to break the 13 million viewer mark. An impressive feat, for sure. And of course, a large portion of those viewers would spend that Sunday posting, tweeting, and preparing for whatever viewing parties they might be hosting or attending later in the evening. So if the daily average of 14 million was decreased partially by Blue Laws, with the remainder diminished by our collective Game of Thrones obsession, it’s easy to see how damaging the overall effects could be on the automotive industry.

However, the effects of ‘GoT’ on the automotive industry go largely unseen by the population as a whole. Even those who haven’t spent the better part of the last decade obsessed with the television juggernaut, have been known to spend their entire Sunday searching for new memes to communicate how, “You may not believe it but (they) are part of the (insert random percentage) of people who have never seen a single episode of Game of Thrones”. And judging by one of my ex-girlfriend’s Facebook posts, that takes a lot of energy. It’s easy to see the influence of the series, intended or otherwise.

Thus, Sam Sustarque stands by her belief. But with the long-anticipated series finale finally out of the way, she remains optimistic about both a resurgence of undistracted buyers and the success of her northern Ohio dealerships. “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives,” she explains, adding “Never again will the North bend the knee to premium cable channels.”

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