I’m sure you all remember the immense amounts of hype surrounding The Hunger Games prior to (and after) it’s release. The National Mall Tour, the Facebook game, advertisements everywhere… it seemed as though Lionsgate hired on a team of machines to promote the film. Well, their action plan enabled the team to work like a well oiled machine, and Fast Company has given us some insights into their genius. Their most important point – it all comes back to the fans!
1. Play To Your Base: Fans Come First. And Second. And Third.
The Hunger Games marketing team learned early on that an engaged fan base was already eager for any word of the coming screen adaptation of their favorite book. Tapping into that base was task one. “Our first mission was to start connecting with the fans of the book by utilizing Facebook and Twitter,” says DePalma, who began that process more than a year ago.
They decided that the first big reveal of the campaign–the cast of the film–would happen online. And since Facebook was already a hub of fan discussion, that was the natural place to do it. Their next step was to invite die-hard fans for exclusive visits to the set of the movie, also via Facebook, thereby establishing early on that the site was an essential gathering place for fans and the place where they could gain information, access, and community. “It was really all our way of developing that direct connection and that direct dialogue with them,” she says.
Lionsgate’s entire campaign was built on this fan-based communication. DePalma jokingly refers to Jessica Frank, Lionsgate’s social manager, as their “fan whisperer.” “She had a personal relationship with all of these fan sites. From the beginning, she was the one communicating with them [and] working on all the social, posting on Twitter and on Facebook. She was really dedicated to that on a daily basis.”
2. Be A Social Butterfly: Exploit Each Social Media Platform For Its Unique Qualities
“We decided from the beginning that we wanted to tap into all the large social platforms, but in different ways, because each platform is unique,” explains DePalma, who began with a viral campaign targeting fans of the book, on Facebook and Twitter. She and her team then launched a site called TheCapitol.pn that allowed fans to register for a district–a key component of the campaign. “That gave them an identity for this Hunger Games community, and it gave them an active role.” Fans could create their own district badges on Facebook, where they would connect to their district communities and be active participants.
3. The Source — In This Case Suzanne Collins’ Book — Is Your Bible
The elaborate world created by Suzanne Collins helped the movie’s marketing team imagine the many ways they could bring it to life for fans, such as letting them choose district identities. “We felt that this was something that we would start with the core fans and then we could see how much we could broaden it out from there,” says DePalma. “People started consuming it and sharing it and it really took on a life of its own. That inspired us to push it even further.”
Their other steps include:
4. Cast A Wide Net: Everyone Is On Team Hunger Games
5. Tease Judiciously
6. Turn Traditional Advertising Into A Series Of Social Media Events
7. Cross-Pollinate Social Media Platforms
8. Tweak (And Tweet) Constantly
9. Employ Apps And Games To Sustain Post-Release Momentum
10. Play The Long Games: This Is Only The Beginning
You can read the rest of the article at Fast Company.