Hunger Games “Gamifys” Marketing



The success of the Hunger Games against it’s relatively low spend in marketing and ad dollars shows a tipping point in how the conglomerates are going to play the studio P and A game.

A recent article ( ) discussed how social media and fewer traditional marketing and ad tactics helped drive the success of the one of this years top film openings – The Hunger Games.  In the article Chase Carrey, deputy chairman and chief operating officer of News Corp, downplayed the threat of social networking sites.

“TV will have a truly important place in generating interest in new movies,”. Users of social networks “don’t like pop-ups and other ads.”

This statement implies that Chase doesn’t get how and what a social networks role in messaging works.  The social ecosystem is a game based on how, who, what, where and why.

How:  How is the studio going to make their message the next social “meme”?  What are the tactics that will drive the objective.

Who:  Who is going to understand the messaging and take it from a simple Facebook posting tactic to targeted meme.

What:  What is the social influencer tactic that is going to drive any relevance.  A simple game or giveaway is not the answer.  The “What” needs to be the content and if you don’t treat social as content then you might as well stop playing the game.

Where:  Where is critical and knowing where to launch will dictate reach and frequency – a true ROI metric that most “social” leaders have trouble grasping.  It’s not a matter of posting on Twitter and getting as many re-tweets, it’s about targeting social to the audience that matters, the ones that are the true early adopters of the content.

When: When is like “Where” – When is the right time to leak the meme to the tastemakers; weeks, days, or hours before you want the messaging to bake into the social conscience.

The people running the congloms are frightened.  The VPs and up are freaking out; pension and retirement are only a few years away and they don’t want to upset the applecart so they will continue to place media buys in the “traditional” environment.  Meanwhile, the underlings want to keep their jobs but have one foot out the door trying to figure out which group or technology is going to disrupt the antiquated model.

Fortunately for Lions Gate, they have always rewarded the “free thinkers” by giving their employees some runway to launch creative and tech friendly campaigns.  It will be fun watching the transformation from ad and marketing budgets from “traditional” to social and new media.

Let the social ad game begin.



Why Gamify? Because people deploy game mechanics in non-game based applications every day.  We have ringtones to achieve status, we use our American Express Cards to level up for “cool things”, and we become members of the million mile clubs just to use the lounges.  Our lives utilize ‘gamification’ mechanics every day, and this has been true since the dawn of mankind.  Why Gamify? intends to break down non-traditional applications and introduce leaders in these fields to comment on what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and their best guess for the future of ‘gamification’ in their fields.  Why Gamify? intends to bring together their insight on how ‘gamification’ and new technology will impact the way the average individual, teacher, business leader, entertainer, athlete, student and beyond thinks about ‘gamification’ in their lives.

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