It used to be that movies were promoted primarily in the newspapers and billboards only. But those production firms with a bigger promotion budget publicize their movie on radio and television shows.
With the present technology, the trend is changing. Internet, the so-called fourth media, has become the target of imaginative advertisers for consumer products. These products include songs and movies.
One movie promotion worth taking note of is The Hunger Games. As early as 2009, it already has a page in facebook. A few months before the theater showing (in March 2012), the internet was deluged with the promotion of The Hunger Games.
Lionsgate, the producer of The Hunger Games, has assigned a staff to handle the blogs in facebook. A concrete plan was set up for the gradual postings of information so as to make it interesting to the followers.
Called media blizzard, the style of promotion in the internet was meant to persuade fans to persuade each other. So if the promotional gimmick is catchy and relevant, it becomes viral in the internet.
Aside from the facebook page, The Hunger Games also has a Twitter account. And not to forget, it has video clips on YouTube for the benefit of the potential market. To complete the campaign, it has accounts in Tumblr, yahoo streaming and iPhone applications too.
One notable approach of the creative team was the contest in facebook. Another nice publicity stunt was Scavenger Hunt, a game to entice the cyber users. These gimmicks can only be done on the internet.
The facebook game of The Hunger Games
Before Christmas, a poster was made into a jigzaw puzzle of 100 pieces which were scattered in 100 websites. Twitter followers had to search for the websites for them to piece out the entire puzzle of a poster. The stunt worked.
There was also a sweepstakes raffle that would select 5 fans for a visit to the set in North Carolina. Part of the unusual approach was the banning of reporters for the activity – so people wouldn’t think it was another promotional gimmick.
It’s not easy to promote a movie with the theme of child killings because it’s not just an ordinary child killing but children killing children. So the marketer has to be very creative in the promotional approach.
Half of the movie contains combat scenes and these should be kept from the public eye. As the producer said, “if you want to see the games then you have to buy a ticket.” That’s one of the reasons why the promotion has a timeline for the details.
The game in the movie involved 24 children who would fight to death with only one winner. How would the movie say that 23 children were killed? This aspect should be offered with a dash of salt to deaden the morbidity.
But Lionsgate did not abandon the traditional promotional techniques. They had 80,000 posters and 3,000 billboards including the bus advertising. Media releases have found their way in newspapers and magazines as well.
The budget to produce The Hunger Games was $80 million with a target of $90 million earnings on the first weekend of showing. The actual figures show a gross of $155 million on its first weekend (from a March 26 report).
Part of the success was due to the fan base of the book version. Like the Harry Potter series of J. K. Rowlings, The Hunger Games is a trilogy of novels by Suzanne Collins which has 24 million copies worldwide.
Not forget, The Hunger Games has also a website of its own (www.thehungergamesmovie.com) which has photos, videos and posters. Movie tickets can also be purchased via the internet.
Here’s the description of The Hunger Games in facebook – The first in a trilogy published by Scholastic that has over 23.5 million copies in print in the United States alone, has developed a massive global following. It has spent more than 160 consecutive weeks/more than three consecutive years to date on The New York Times bestseller list since its publication in September 2008, and has also appeared consistently on USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists.
Here is the plot – Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.
The continuation of the plot – Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
The cast of The Hunger Games – Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz with Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland, Wes Bentley, Toby Jones, Alexander Ludwig, Isabelle Fuhrman, Amandla Stenberg.
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