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The release of the third film in the Hunger Games series, “Mockingjay Part 1,” is being hotly anticipated. Their marketing team knows it, and we at Big Leap have noticed. They’ve taken a new direction in their campaign for this film than they have in the past two, and although it doesn’t mention the film’s name, it couldn’t be more perfect.

Story Background
If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen the first two films, here’s a brief background. As a young adult dystopian novel, there is the requisite love triangle and sacrifice of children to the appeasement of the corrupt government, as well as an uprising against said government by the impoverished citizens of the country, Panem. As typical as it may sound, there has been something different about these novels and their depictions on the big screen.

A Bold Decision
The third film picks up in the midst of the uprising, while the government still believes they can control and maintain it; and this is exactly where the marketing has decided to pick up as well. Rather than release footage from the actual film being shot, they made a bold decision to release a teaser that features Panem’s corrupt President Snow – but not in the context of a scene wherein he interacts with other characters. In this teaser he is simply addressing his citizens in an accurate depiction of war propaganda.

Propaganda Campaign
This sneak peek into the film is a short clip that could very well not be in the film at all. This theme continues throughout the campaign in their breathtaking print ads that can be found online. Each ad states, in perfect propaganda fashion, “The Capitol Salutes its Citizens the Mining District,” and variations thereon depending on the district.
The genius of this campaign is that they never once mention the name of the film. After two films of the series have already being released, there’s no need to. The target audience of the ads is those that are already at least casual fans; the goal of the ads is to get them even more excited for the release without giving anything away – and it is completely successful.

Avoiding Risk
The risk in showing footage from the actual film is that most of the fans have already read the books and know exactly what is going to happen and how it’s going to end. The film lost any element of surprise as soon as they started, so their only job is to portray what readers can’t actually see when reading the books. Part of that has been the story from the perspective of the enemy, President Snow.

Book to Film

Complete Success
The marketing campaign changed their angle to treat audience members as citizens of Panem to create a more immersive experience and show a part of the government audiences wouldn’t have seen in the books, and possibly not even in the film. This kind of marketing for a major blockbuster film is completely unique, and yet still remains relatable and familiar because of the way it mirrors war propaganda of the past.
These advertisements establish a new way to get the attention of audiences without being obvious and obnoxious. Hopefully it is not the last of its kind, and the trend of unique advertising will continue on in different ways by different successful marketing campaigns.

Smaller Businesses
For smaller businesses just getting started, use this as an example of the many different possibilities that are open to you. Don’t feel as if you have to stick to the status quo. Incorporate new ideas such as Facebook videos to catch your target audiences interest. Take your SEO to the next level by writing about something new but relevant.

The Mockingjay teaser focuses on the words “unity”, “prosperity”, and “sacrifice”. Find the keywords that best define your brand and run with them. Just remember to think outside of the box.

Photo credit to: Kendra Miller and Nomadic Lass.

Jamie Bates
Online Marketing Director