It's no suprise that the publisher Scholastic and movie studio Lionsgate are doing well following the release of the first installment of the 'Hunger Games' series. If you haven't heard of Katniss, Peeta or the world of Panem you could be accused of falling behind the times. It's already a box office hit!
So what did Lionsgate do to ensure that this unknown series was a success? The answer is lots! They engaged a clever mix of social media campaigns running alongside more traditional marketing to whip existing and new fans into a frenzy ahead of the film release.
First they took to the platforms that they knew their target fans would be on in force; Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr.
Their activity across these platforms was constant in a long run up to the release of the film. Twitter scavenger hunts and Facebooks apps allowed fans to engage with the film before it was even released. Lionsgate also spent a great deal of effort targeting Hunger Games fan blogs and released a steady stream of exclusive insider content.
Next they kicked off activity to encourage advance bookings. This started early when back in August 2011, fans were given access to The Capitol, a website featuring sneak peeks of content that also enabled visitors to create ID cards for the Panem world. Over 800,000 created these ID cards and the fans who signed up were the able to become mayor of their chosen district.
As part of the digital campaign, the official movie poster was cut up in to 100 pieces and places around the web. Fans were challenged to find clues on Twitter to discover the pieces of the poster and the film was trending on Twitter within minutes. They also made sure the premiere was streamed live via Yahoo in the US.
The more traditional marketing was also pretty impressive and included over 50 front covers of various magazines and advertising on over 3,000 outdoor spaces.
The film's storyline is a controversial one and despite the popularity of the books, it was a risky film to take to the big screen for any studio. What Lionsgate have demonstrated is that by cultivating your fan base early, maintaining the conversation with a defined content strategy and always keeping the fans wanting more, you can potentially turn a rather unconventional proposition in to a success.