Digital/Social Platforms Power The Hunger Games

If the advanced buzz about The Hunger Games—which opens Friday, March 23 across the country—is to be believed, the film has much more in common with the Harry Potter franchise and less in common with John Carter.

And marketing/communications outreach for the film bears that out:

  • 8 million views of the premiere trailer within the first 24 hours of its iTunes release.
  • Over 2.9 million people have liked The Hunger Games official Facebook page.
  • 800,000 people have created personalized digital ID cards saying they live in the film's futuristic world, Panem.
  • 306,000-plus (and counting) follow @TheHungerGames on Twitter.

The movie boasts one of the most interactive Facebook pages of any film release, complete with a game and membership into its fictionalized world of Panem.

In additions, organizations are aligning with the film for community efforts as well. This week, hundreds of volunteers are setting up shop at movie theaters across America to bring fans of the The Hunger Games on-board a new campaign to fight hunger. The “Hunger is Not a Game ” campaign is sponsored by the Harry Potter Alliance, an organization that uses the power of story to inspire fans to work for social change. The campaign will gather support for international relief and development organization Oxfam’s GROW campaign to ensure everyone has enough to eat now and in the future.

Supporters of the Harry Potter Alliance will kick-off the partnership by gathering signatures for the GROW campaign’s petition to reform food aid in the U.S. Farm Bill. Volunteers will attend hundreds of screenings of The Hunger Games across the country. Using the hashtag #notagame, the groups will engage supporters online with a broad social media campaign to raise awareness and gather pledges of support for the GROW campaign’s agenda. At the movie releases HPA members will build support for the GROW campaign and collect food for food banks in their local communities.

“This isn’t your grandmother’s hunger campaign, we won’t be asking for money,” says Vicky Rateau, campaign manager for Oxfam’s GROW campaign. “Every action we mobilize both on and offline will help us convince our leaders that reforming food aid is important to people across this country.”

And channeling the excitement and enthusiasm around The Hunger Games’ opening for this and other efforts like it could bring bountiful returns for communicators.

Follow Scott Van Camp: @svancamp01