The Hunger Games opens in theaters tonight at Midnight. We’re excited about the movie and have been keenly observing the social media outlets associated with the film. The Hunger Games has sparked a creative marketing effort to promote the movie, gotten fans involved, created massive amounts of content and allowed social media efforts to promote a good cause.
Also, we’ve been enjoying discussing how the Hunger Games and Social Media could have affected Panem (the fictional nation in The Hunger Games).
Social media has become one of the most cost effective and quickly spreading forms of marketing. To market the movie online and through social media the marketing team created a standard website that focused on the release date and movie trailers. They also created a website that allows visitors to become a member of Panem at thecapitol.pn. Users share what district they’re in and their new Panem identification card on Facebook or Twitter.
The official movie Facebook page is extremely well done. With over 3.2 million fans this page can attribute much of it’s success to making their Facebook fans feel valuable. Making their fans first to hear news about the upcoming movie by sharing screenshots, the movie soundtrack, exclusive photos of the characters & actors and by interacting with fans not only on the main page but also on Facebook pages created for each district in Panem. They’re really using the Hunger Games and social media to bring fans into the movies.
Their Tumblr page is a perfect example of this. Tumblr is a great social media site that has many uses, because it is a great place for sharing and reposting items found on the web it has a lot of active users. One popular topic on tumblr blog pages is fashion. Social media marketers used this to their advantage by creating a faux online fashion magazine called Capitol Couture which examines the extravagant and absurd fashion trends displayed by citizens in the Capitol.
On Twitter they’ve chosen actual twitter users to become mayors of districts and district recruiters. Tonight, along with the movie they’re also launching a Facebook Game — The Hunger Games Adventures. With all this and more their social media efforts have encouraged fans to interact and to generate their own content to spread all over the world wide web.
While it’s neat to see all the things the markerters are doing it’s absolutely wonderful to see fans get involved, to become promoters of a product themselves. While this is particularly popular for books and movies with epic stories it’s important to keep in mind that this can still apply and happen with other businesses as well. For Example, Arizona Iced Tea on Tumblr share fan generated content featuring Arizona Iced Tea.
One of the most popular things I’ve seen floating around the web is this creative and well thought out map of Panem, which obviously took quite a chunk of time to put together. There are podcasts and entire websites that are dedicated to the fandom with names from CitizenOfPanem.com to TheMockingjay on LiveJournal. Countless fan art creations including this lovely illustration of Katniss Everdeen.
Besides promotion for the movies, other marketers have been able to use the success of The Hunger Games’s social media marketing for different endeavors. One example of this is Hunger is Not a Game by Imagine Better (An endeavor by The Harry Potter Alliance). By using themes from the novels & movies, and social media they are partnering up with Oxfam to gain supporters to change our system of distributing food relief, and to spread awareness of starvation.
While examining all the ways that the Hunger Games and social media are used, the experience got me thinking about how social media could have affected Panem. While there does seem to be television and phones in Panem there never is a mention of social media. One can imagine how it might affect the games and the fictional world of Panem. Tributes would be required to tweet throughout the Hunger Games competition, the more followers they get the better sponsors they’d get. There would be Facebook pages, fansites, podcasts, and blogs focused on all the tributes.
However, when I really think about it, if social media were around I don’t think they would have ever made it to a 74th Hunger Games. Social media can be very powerful. Knowing the role social media had in The Arab Spring, I think in the world of Panem, social media would have a hand in ending the spectacle of the Hunger Games years before Primrose’s name is ever called in the reaping.