From Sparks to Catching (Wild)Fire

We’ll be back soon, lovelies! In the meantime, check out Uli’s fabulous analysis of the Catching Fire marketing!

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The triad of Josh, Jen and Liam blazing their way through red carpets all around the world can only mean one thing. The day we’ve all been eagerly waiting for is finally upon us. Who would have thought that a year ago, huh? 500+ days of a countdown sure don’t pass by all too quickly, but Lionsgate did their best to keep us all on our toes and excited throughout. And with the movie now being shown to not only media representatives but the general public as well, I thought it time to do a little recap of how well the marketing machinery of Lionsgate worked this time around.

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Did #TheSpark spark fan interest?

After months and months of watching The Hunger Games multiple times to pass time, something was finally happening. #TheSpark was sent flying to ignite all those Tributes in hibernation and get them excited for the second installment of the franchise. And ignite it did.

First, stills from the movie were being revealed that, again, had to be unlocked by fans through tweeting a certain hashtag. It felt almost like we were back in the days of “The Hunger Games” marketing campaign when all was about tweeting, revealing and unlocking. But for “Catching Fire” it stopped suddenly and instead of being a part, becoming a part of #TheSpark, we were asked to stand aside and watch. And wait. Wait until Lionsgate decided it was time to reveal something new. The whole “Tick Tock” concept was all about tweeting and joining to win, not tweeting and joining to unlock. And that, in general, reflected what a grand part of the Catching Fire marketing campaign was about.

My recollection of the whole campaign might not be detailed, but I sure remember the overall feeling I’ve gotten from it was us, the fans, were being degraded to viewers as opposed to the players we all had been throughout The Hunger Games campaign leading up to the movie. We “played” to unlock TheCapitol.pn site, played to unlock our DIPs, played to puzzle together the first official movie poster. Everyone had a part in it. And this time around, especially with all give aways or competitions being restricted to only the US and Canada, most of those players were forced to sit down and watch as the game went on without them. And I, personally, found that saddening. It’s more exciting being a part than watching (except, of course, when we’re talking about the Hunger Games. The actual ones).

Now, I am not saying that Lionsgate didn’t do a good job. It was solid, just enough to keep the level of excitement boiling. But Catching Fire’s marketing campaign was just missing that little extra that would have taken #TheSpark from its initial, big-enough-to-make-smores campfire to a full-blown wildfire like the one Katniss is escaping from in the first book. Something engaging and captivating the fans, allowing them to become a part of Panem rather than just citizens of the Capitol. Net-a-Porter anyone?

Uli

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3 comments

  1. Uli, thanks for breaking down a.bigger picture of the marketing. I’ve gotten bogged down in some of the details and I wasn’t a THG fan until movie came out, so I missed the marketing last time. Appreciate hearing your perspective on it.

  2. I missed all the fan marketing for the first movie too, but I’m pretty sure I like Catching Fire’s campaign better. I’m not really into having to play and unluck to get basic promotional stuff. I just want the stuff.

    1. I suppose everyone just wants the stuff and that’s absolutely understandable. But the problem with that is, that the majority of fans from places all over the world don’t even have a chance to participate that way. I mean, I am aware of all the legal stuff there is involved, but Lionsgate is and always will be in charge of the marketing campaign. Whatever local studios do, it won’t ever reach the size that of LG. It’s not even as organized as LGs marketing campaign.
      I think, especially when you cannot compete and win, it’s still important for people to feel a part of the fandom/franchise/movies etc and that’s what the CF campaign has really been lacking this time around.

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