UPDATE: Read our updated, ongoing coverage of Lionsgate”s excellent use of social media marketing for the “Hunger Games”
Can you imagine having to fight for your life in a televised battle at age sixteen – a battle that is made up of twenty-four 12-18 year olds, forced by their government to fight to the death in order to obtain food and fame for their home district?
I was blown away reading about this post-apocalyptic world in “The Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins. This hugely popular trilogy is now coming to the big screen: the first novel has been made into a movie by Lionsgate and is set for release March 23, 2012. And in an impressive display of social media marketing savvy, “Hunger Games” has hit the ground running on Facebook, Twitter, Google , YouTube and a Tumblr blog.
Lionsgate engaged fans immediately, starting with the sharing of the first teaser trailer during the MTV Video Music Awards. That included the Twitter hashtag #whatsmydistrict, which led fans on a hunt for clues and eventually to a hidden website revealed as a Capitol site. There you could register as a citizen of Panem and users were able to run for mayor of the districts.
Many movies have used social media to share movie info, but this is an excellent example of a studio raising the bar in engaging fans by spreading clues and creating teams.
• Twitter – is the official Twitter account that tweets movie quotes and all kinds of information about the upcoming movie. @TheCapitolPN is the official Twitter account for the government of the nation of Panem. It stays “in-character,” tweeting about players and Hunger Games events as well as announcing themed merchandise for sale, such as the new line of Hunger Games nail polish. This account also sends out links to the Facebook pages.
• Facebook – “Like” The Hunger Games on Facebook and receive movie info and updates in your home stream. There is a main Facebook Page and 12 District pages. In an extra push for engagement, the most influential sharer on each district page becomes the Mayor of that district, enabling special prizes.
• Tumblr – If you want to keep up with the ever-changing, popular Capitol fashion and culture, you need to visit Capitol Couture on Tumblr. It’s set up like a magazine, featuring cover stories on style, citizen activity and other fun information.
• YouTube – The books’ fans can make sure they don’t miss any movie trailers or clips by subscribing to .
• Google – As with Facebook, this is where fans can keep up with photos and updates about the upcoming movie.
These sites were exploding months before the movie’s release thanks to a formidable social media initiative. It’s true that not all movies have quite this much buzz; the popularity generated by the books’ fans is a huge factor behind this unusually-comprehensive online campaign. But Lionsgate has done a great job of tapping into that existing “Hunger Games” community, and Katniss fans love it.
What about you? Have you read the books? Are you following “Hunger Games” online? What’s your favorite “Hunger Games” social media site?
This just in: THE HUNGER GAMES ADVENTURES, an adventure-based social game where fans can explore the world of Panem, will be released through Facebook in March as well. Players can explore Panem and complete missions that will take them to each of the Districts and the Capitol where they will interact with the familiar characters from the book. With each mission they complete, they will advance their own storyline within the world. As the official game of the series, THE HUNGER GAMES ADVENTURES will be the first place fans can see the official map of Panem, and how the districts are laid out. Details for the Map of Panem will be rolled out in the game with a steady stream of chapter expansions as the game, and the world, reveals itself over time. Yet another example of excellent social media strategy to engage the fans and stir up the buzz around this incredibly popular series. Coming soon…