Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Hunger Games: The power of marketing

Katniss and Caesar
Marketing is a powerful tool. Lionsgate is releasing a steady stream of pictures, videos, trailers, interviews and other medium for The Hunger Games. As with many movies, it started small. The occasional pictures, the short teaser trailer. Then they launched a website that allowed fans to find out what district they’d reside. The official Facebook page and Twitter feed posted pictures, often coupled with quotes from the book. Theatrical trailers hit movies theaters and the internet. Books and magazines further pull people into The Hunger Games.

Hunger Games merchandise is all over the internet and creeping into stores. Companion books, the mockingjay pin and posters are pretty easy to find. For those who want something a little more, online is the best avenue. 

But how much marketing is necessary? There’s no answer to how much a company needs to push a movie. If the movie itself cannot enthrall audiences, millions of dollars in promotions won’t do a bit of good. Take a look at last year’s The Green Lantern. It was impossible to escape those ads. Everywhere people looked; there Ryan Reynolds was in a weird green suit. It needed to make $500 million to fall under the success category. It didn’t even make half that amount. The trailers alone tell viewers to run away.

The Hunger Games benefits from a strong book following. Fans want to see their favorite scenes come to life in accurate, tasteful manner. Each image Lionsgate releases is scrutinized and debated.

Even though countless fans would still see The Hunger Games without the constant clips and images sent their way, would so many be eager to attend midnight screenings or feel as if they had to see it opening weekend? Each snippet makes fans want more. It’s like eating rich chocolate cake; you can’t have just one bite. The more that fans can see, the more they want the whole film.

Without marking, the masses wouldn’t know about a movie. How many people picked up the book because the trailer caught their eye? Social media allows companies to reach even more people than they could before. It also makes it easier to pass around a new image or clip. 

Given the number of tickets already sold and the positive reviews, it’s safe to predict that The Hunger Games will be a box office smash. Other films can look at the example when hyping up their own films—provided the content is worth watching. 

 And there's no question of the content of The Hunger Games.

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