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The Hunger Games: The Successful New Media Campaign That Made It Rain Ticket Sales

Fandango’s recent press release noted that the newly released film The Hunger Games has broken the record for ticket sales with its service, accounting for 22% of all ticket sales. Many of those sales were made with Fandango’s mobile app, resulting in a record number of tickets purchased with a mobile device as well. The success of the film, although much due to the popularity of the book series for which it is based on, is also the result of an incredible demonstration of new media marketing.

iOS Game Prompts You to Purchase Movie Tickets

The Hunger Games’ campaign got an early start, back in the summer of 2011, allowing it to build a sufficient amount of hype. The film’s web presence was built using thismoment’s social CMS (Content Management System), DEC. The thismoment software allows its users to create and manage a very interactive web presence including the management of social media. The result was a highly immersive user experience starting with the Capitol Network, where you can register as a citizen of Panem and be placed in one of the twelve “districts”. The film had a presence on all the major social networks, all of which linked to Fandango where tickets could be purchased for the movie:

  •  Twitter: In addition to the official @TheHungerGames account, there was also @TheCapitolPN, an account that tweets in character as The Capitol, the story’s oppressive government.
  • Tumblr: Lionsgate created a Tumblr called Capitol Couture, featuring the bizarre fashions of the Capitol as depicted in the film. This is a fabulous example of marketing with Tumblr.
  • Facebook Pages: In addition to the main Facebook page, twelve other pages were created to represent each of the districts for which people could choose to identify with.
  • GetGlue: A GetGlue partnership allowed fans to collect district specific sticker as well as stickers for various characters.
  • YouTube: The YouTube channel received millions of views and tens of thousands of subscribers. It was interactive, allowing fans to submit videos and “become your district’s official broadcaster”.
  • Facebook Game Beta: A promotional Facebook game was created that is currently in beta and invite only. Exclusive betas often generate a lot of buzz like in the case of Google+ prior to its public release.
  • Smartphone Game: A free iPhone game entitled Hunger Games: Girl on Fire was developed that linked to trailers and the Fandango website so tickets for the film could be purchased.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle: Prior to the film release a contest was created for fans to college jigsaw puzzle pieces.
  • Charity Campaign:  A campaign working in conjunction with Feeding America and the World Food Programme collected money for charity (against hunger) while simultaneously generating publicity for the film.
  • Advance Screening Program and Premier Streaming: Lionsgate ran a contest where fans could win and advance showing of the film at multiple locations all around the country. In addition to early screenings, the film’s premiere of the film was broadcast via livestream for everyone to see.
Specific District 4 Facebook PageIt is very interesting to note the film’s marketing success despite only spending around $45 million compared to the $100 million that is usually spent on such a film. The film’s marketing brought in $214 million at its global debut and has even increased sales for the book. This Hunger Games is a clear demonstration of how social media allows for cheap and highly effective marketing.

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