Fantastical 'Game of Thrones'-themed objects have been appearing all across Northern Ireland where the hit show is set

Lara O'Reilly

Tourism Ireland is hoping to boost visits to the country with a new campaign timed to coincide with the fifth season of "Game of Thrones," which returned to screens this month.

But rather than simply spending big on standard outdoor and TV ads, Tourism Ireland has taken the mischievous approach of setting up a series of "Game of Thrones"-themed stunts around Northern Ireland's capital city Belfast and picturesque landscapes elsewhere across the country over the past few weeks.

It all began on April 7, with Tourism Ireland and HBO placed wooden signs pointing the way to the Iron Islands and other key Westeros locations near to where they were filmed.

Things got even more surreal when "Targaryen farmed" dragon eggs were placed on sale at St. George's Market in Belfast. The eggs were controlled by remote control and started to vibrate as potential customers came close.

There are at least four more upcoming events on the way, code-named: "Signs of Giants," "Flocking to Belfast," "White Walker Marks," and "A Fiery Spectacle," according to Tourism Ireland's ad agency Publicis London.

As far as possible, Tourism Ireland and HBO will be presenting the stunts as "real news items," according to an e-mailed press release about the campaign. The push will also be advertised with paid-for placements on Facebook and Twitter across its 14-week duration.

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