The marketing behind The Hunger Games perfectly blended traditional and online advertising to create tremendous buzz for the movie, which appealed to both fanatics like myself and people who knew nothing of the world of Panem. The strategy definitely worked, as The Hunger Games made $155 million at the box-office this past weekend and beat multiple box office records.
In addition to traditional marketing methods, the movie also had an elaborate online campaign. Here are some of my favorite online elements:
- A “Who Are The Tributes?” section on the film Facebook page. Whenever an actor was cast as a tribute (a Hunger Games contestant from each of the districts), it would be announced via the page, giving the chance for fans to engage with each other, expressing their excitement or disappointment at the actor cast for the part.
- The movie trailer (which smartly omitted any footage from the Games in order to create a sense of intrigue) included a Twitter prompt that led fans to one of the movie’s websites: TheCapitol.pn. The site gave fans a chance to make digital ID cards much like the residents of Panem. (More than a million ID cards have been created.) The ID cards gave the fans premier access to the site, including membership in one of the 12 Districts.
- A Tumblr site, CapitolCouture.pn, was created that focused on the costumes in the film. This gave the fan a first look at the intricate costumes as well as background information on the backstory of the Capitol.
- The movie’s YouTube page, branded Capitol TV, hosts trailers, TV spots, and sneak-peeks. There is also a section where fanmade videos can be added. Capitol TV has had 22 million pageviews.
- A new movie poster was released in an unorthodox way. It was separated into 100 puzzle pieces and dispersed among 100 websites’ Twitter pages. Searching through Twitter, fans had to put the poster together by using Photoshop or printing and manually assembling the pieces.
- Lionsgate Studios partnered with Microsoft to launch TheCapitolTour.pn last week, an immersive site that shows a virtual tour of arriving at The Capitol. Fans can discover even more exclusive content and then post their experience to Facebook.
In what ways can you create a similar rabid buzz for your brand?