The most anticipated film of 2012, “The Hunger Games” did not gross $396,022,168 in the U.S by default. A very strategic and brilliant marketing campaign was set in place three years in advance before the film’s release. The master minds behind this campaign were Lionsgate’s team including Chief Marketing Officer Tim Palen, Senior VP for Digital Marketing Danielle DePalma, and Executive VP of Publicity Julie Fontaine and an agency named Ignition. Ignition is a full service multi-media motion picture and television marketing company.
Strategy and Results
The powerful duo of Lionsgate and Ignition knew the most effective place to reach their potential audience was on all social media platforms. They had their hands in Twitter and Facebook, a blog, a YouTube channel, in addition to creating iPhone games and streaming premiere live on Yahoo. They attacked on all sides. They initially ignited excitement in 2009 by announcing the cast on Facebook. Later leading to 3.5 million likes on their Facebook page. Probably their smartest moves involved total engagement with their audience. Constant Facebook contests, Twitter puzzles, even a YouTube contest to become a district broadcaster. They made use of the individual platforms for their unique qualities. A blog titled “Capitol Couture” which highlighted the exotic outfits seen throughout the film. Then in November 2012 the main trailer was released capturing 8 million views within 24 hours. Today the “The Hunger Games” You Tube Channel has 32 million views. The marketers were well aware that they had to sustain attention until the DVD comes out by providing something new almost daily.
How can other movies learn from “The Hunger Games”?
“The Hunger Games” Marketing Campaign offers marketing lessons galore. Some key hints would be using different hashtags for each tweet. Their innovative twitter games were detailed oriented and always kept the films theme in mind. “Those really helped us trend because each one of those milestones had its own identity and helped it to spread so easily,” says DePalma. Another one is promoting fan created content. The twitter puzzle influenced people to physically print out their tweets or use Photoshop to put it together. Their YouTube channel asked fans to create a video that they thought best represented the film. These very inventive videos allow the audience members to feel a part of the game. If this isn’t active engagement and participation, then I don’t know what is.