Posts Tagged ‘the hunger games’

I just discovered this fascinating article on The Hunger Games social marketing campaign. I didn’t pay much attention to the online marketing at the time, but boy oh boy, now I wish I had. This is a fascinating case study for how to draw teens into a fannish phenomenon, and I think libraries can use it as well. Go on and read the article; I’ll wait.

All right, so The Hunger Games marketing team had it somewhat easy: They had an engaged fan base that was already eager for any word, and also actively searching for information.

But a few lessons can be learned from the professional Hollywood approach to marketing and can be adapted for libraries. First, Ignition did not attempt to conquer all social media spheres at once. They started on the two major ones, Facebook and Twitter, where an established teen base was waiting.

Second, they moved into additional places that teens were hanging out online, and tailored the content for each source. What they posted on Tumblr was appropriate for Tumblr; it was not the same thing they posted on Facebook. This is an important thing for anyone to understand when they attempt to begin social marketing: Not all platforms are the same. A Twitter account that regenerates a shortened link back to a Facebook post will be nowhere as successful as one that posts things appropriate for 140 characters and @ back-and-forth and hashtags. They are different mediums for a reason, and librarians need to embrace their differences. Additionally, they need to be cognizant of the difference in users: there is already a divide emerging between the 13 to 18 and 19 to 25 age group with newer services like Instagram and Snapchat.

Third, Ignition partnered with multiple other places to participate in the game. While many libraries won’t have the connections to get places like Yahoo to post something on their homepage, local businesses would be an excellent outreach. A scavenger hunt in a smaller town with businesses, or having localities with social media also Tweet out clues or post hints on their Facebook pages could be a couple of ways to draw teens into the program.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they were sure to make the content of the campaign meaningful to the fans of the book and gave them ways to identify themselves as active participants. This is grounded in the idea of a fanbase as a community. They allowed teens to choose identities and districts, and then later played on those with their Twitter campaign.

The numbers the marketing team chose (eg. #47) had special relevance to the story and their importance would be something that the fans could understand and appreciate. They also played off elements of the film by partnering with 12 different websites such as Yahoo, IGN, Fandango,  and Machinima as “district sponsors.” They allowed the fans to create their own place – literally – in the world and become part of it. This also helps build a sense of positive exclusiveness: It creates a club-like atmosphere that allows teenagers to connect to each other and to the thing orchestrating it. In the case of The Hunger Games media campaign, it was the movie, and the box office receipts show it worked. In the library’s case, it can be the library itself.