On two different occasions, I’ve been witness to the same opinion by two different people who have no knowledge of each other. One is from my online friend Hunter, a high school student from Michigan, and the other from Ramona, my friend from my vocal class at Georgia State University. On two different occasions, I’ve witnessed these two talk about how ironic the marketing for this film has been. We have so much merchandise and hype for a movie about children who are forced into a battle to the death because they tried to feed their families. I do agree with them. It’s weird, it’s sick, and so very ironic to what Suzanne Collins was writing about.
It’s also kind of brilliant.
In this dimension, I specialize in public relations, which while it is not the same as marketing and advertising, has a lot of cross section with the two. It’s all about the public with these fields. Knowing how to relate to your public, knowing what it wants, and how to make it think about your product when it comes to their point of purchase.
Someone at Lionsgate was thinking right when they decided to assume the role of the Capitol. They must have known that there would be no other way marketing this film could work, and that the fans would eat it up so quickly.
And we did.
According to the Capitol, I’m a District 6 router. I’m one of many with a District Identification Pass (also one of many currently having problems trying to get my physical DIP). I’m one of many who waited eagerly to know who our tributes are, for the next clip from Capitol TV, for the next order from Seneca Crane or President Snow, for the next issue of Capitol Couture, for the next whatever thing coming directly from Lionsgate… er… The Capitol.
Is it totally ironic? Oh hell yes. We’ve pretty much bought into the Captiol in this process.
Is it totally one of the most clever and solid marketing techniques I’ve ever seen? You bet. By establishing themselves as The Capitol, Lionsgate has found a place that can totally be used again and again as the franchise grows. Just think ahead to what the marketing for Mockingjay will be like. We’ll get a chance to turn against Katniss Everdeen with this setup (and maybe be on her side with future growth). If Lionsgate does it right, we might get the propos as part of the deal!
But that’s all future right now.
Right now, I have to applaud Lionsgate. The buildup to The Hunger Games has been one of the most brilliant uses of both traditional and new media I have ever seen. They totally embraced the internet as part of their marketing and let the fans do as much work as their marketing department. As a result, we have a movie that even non-readers of the book are looking forward to.
I said some bad things about Lionsgate back in the day when Repo! The Genetic Opera was coming out, and I still stand by some of those things, but when Lionsgate markets, they go all out and it’s brilliant for everyone involved. Ironic merchandise and all.
I can’t wait to see where it goes when the fire catches…
Monday will be back on schedule with a rundown of what The Hunger Games is and isn’t. For now, I hope you all have a wonderful St. Patrick’s! Be safe, and Happy Hunger Games!