Case Write-Up

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©2016 by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. This case was prepared by Professor Mohanbir Sawhney and Pallavi Goodman. Cases are developed solely as the basis for class discussion. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, sources of primary data, or illustrations of effective or ineffective management. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, call 800-545-7685 (or 617-783-7600 outside the United States or Canada) or e-mail [email protected] No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, used in a spreadsheet, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the permission of Kellogg Case Publishing.

M O H A N B I R S A W H N E Y A N D P A L L A V I G O O D M A N

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Using Digital and Social Media for Brand Storytelling

The Hunger Games film series began in 2012 with the launch of the first movie in the franchise.1 In 2013 the second film, called The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, was released and set the record for the biggest opening weekend for any movie ever released in November.2 The marketing campaign for the film was launched well in advance of its opening and employed a promotional campaign that leveraged digital and social media in a coordinated and holistic way to tell a brand story and to engage existing fans of the first movie. Lionsgate Entertainment and Ignition Creative collaborated to create a new type of marketing campaign that relied on storytelling in a digital world and blurred the lines between reality and fiction. This novel marketing strategy, called brand storytelling, consisted of a mix of social media campaigns undertaken across a variety of platforms such as YouTube, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, while bringing into sharper focus brand and designer partnerships in the film, and attracting enthusiastic fan participation.

While many aspects of the campaign marked new ground for a film promotion, it raised some unanswered questions. What did the campaign do well, and what could have been done better? Did the campaign really enhance the Hunger Games brand and audience participation? Was brand storytelling the future of film promotion, or was it a one-off concept that lent itself well to this particular film?

1 The trailer for the first Hunger Games film can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4S9a5V9ODuY. 2 The trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAzGXqJSDJ8.

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The Hunger Games The Hunger Games got its start in the form of three novels written by American author and

screenwriter Suzanne Collins. First in the trilogy was The Hunger Games, published in 2008. Next came Catching Fire, in 2009, followed by Mockingjay, in 2010. The novels were set in the imaginary, post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, which consisted of a wealthy Capitol and twelve districts, in varying states of poverty and starvation, which were ruled by the Capitol. The citizens of the districts were forced to participate in an annual televised competition called the Hunger Games.

The novels combined the genres of science fiction, adventure, drama, and action. The series quickly captured readers’ imagination, especially that of young adults, becoming a top seller on Amazon.com and besting the Harry Potter book series.3 By 2014, the novels had sold more than 65 million copies in the United States.

Brand Storytelling Brand storytelling uses new distribution platforms to create personal and unique consumer

experiences. Although the branded content is created independent of the audience’s needs, the storytelling used to deliver that content connects with the audience’s imagination and evokes powerful emotions that linger in their minds. Brand storytelling uses characters and injects personality, humor, and emotion to keep audiences engaged and entertained. It appeals to the audience to imbue a story—and by extension, a brand—with meaning. In a hyperconnected and social world where consumers can find out everything there is to know about a brand or product, evoking emotions about a brand’s value can be a powerful way to connect with the audience.

Transmedia storytelling is a technique that allows a story to unfold across multiple media platforms and that solicits the active participation of fans and end users in the story’s expansion across these media.4 In transmedia storytelling, the “spreadability” of the narrative is an important consideration and is accomplished through “viral marketing” practices in social media channels. In transmedia storytelling, finding the core fan base that will share and disseminate the narrative is a crucial element of the campaign. Transmedia storytelling strives for continuity of the narrative as the story expands across multiple channels, thus giving fans an immersive experience in the story. Transmedia storytelling as we know it today emerged in the entertainment industry with films such as The Blair Witch Project (1999), whose promotional campaign incorporated televised “documentaries” on the history of the (fictional) Blair Witch and on-the-street personnel who distributed missing-person flyers for the characters who disappear in the film. The technique was rapidly adopted by brand marketers across a wide range of industries. The rise of transmedia brand storytelling was fueled by the ability of digital and social media channels to connect with diverse audiences across the world. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, for example, used a combination of vlogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr to retell the story of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in the twenty-first century, which created innovative opportunities for fans to interact with the story.

3 Julie Bosman, “Amazon Crowns ‘Hunger Games’ as Its Top Seller, Surpassing Harry Potter Series,” New York Times, August 17, 2012.

4 For an overview of transmedia storytelling, see Henry Jenkins, “Transmedia Storytelling 101,” Confessions of an Aca-Fan (blog), March 22, 2007, http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html.

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An early example of transmedia brand storytelling was the Audi A3 “Art of the Heist” campaign (see Exhibit 1). This campaign, designed and executed by marketing agency Campfire in 2005, featured an interactive story about a stolen Audi A3. The campaign involved the audience by making them part of the investigation to find the vehicle. It was like a spy movie, except that this drama moved back and forth between the virtual world and the real world, with the audience as active participants in the story. It began with live footage of a car theft in progress at an Audi dealership on Park Avenue. The thieves made off with a brand-new Audi with the police in hot pursuit. The chase was unsuccessful and flyers were later handed out describing the stolen vehicle. The next day, Audi posted signs at the New York International Auto Show asking for information on the vehicle.

Bloggers around the world posted stories about the stolen vehicle and billboard and messages appeared asking for the public’s help in finding the vehicle. A TV commercial was even created about the car’s disappearance that described some of its features: “open sky system,” “dual clutch DSG,” “Audi Nav Plus,” and “two SD card slots.” Finally, the A3’s website revealed that the company had hired a firm specializing in the recovery of high-end art items, Last Resort Retrieval, to find the missing car. Last Resort had advertised its services in several high-end magazines to strengthen the illusion of its authenticity. Audi even enlisted the help of a videogame designer to design a game/ app that would help to find the missing car. An influential blogger had also compiled details of the case and a curious visitor to the site would have found videos and clips about the theft and details about the public’s participation in the recovery of the car. Anyone following the story could watch events unfold as in a movie. A visit to Audi’s site would have revealed that the “stolen” car had been recovered and why it had been stolen in the first place. The audience had participated in the largest and most experiential “reality blurring” campaign ever executed. The campaign resulted in 45 million PR impressions, 500,000 story participants, over 10,000 leads to dealers, and over 2 million unique visitors to AudiUSA.com.

Other transmedia brand storytelling examples included Campfire’s campaign for the popular HBO series Game of Thrones (see Exhibit 2), as well as campaigns for the films Prometheus and The Matrix. Mattel launched a transmedia storytelling campaign to unite dolls Barbie and Ken after Mattel engineered their break-up. Mattel had “Ken” post photos on Facebook and videos on YouTube, as well as check in on Foursquare in a concerted effort to win “Barbie” back. Fans could follow Ken’s efforts and the narrative thread across different media.

Promotional Mix for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Realizing the power of transmedia storytelling, the producers of The Hunger Games: Catching

Fire made social media the centerpiece of the film’s marketing campaign (see Exhibit 3). These social media channels served to illuminate the difference between the privileged life of the inhabitants of the Capitol and the bleak lives of citizens in the twelve districts ruled by the Capitol.

A traditional marketing campaign would have focused on creating brand awareness three to six months prior to the release of the film, using established elements such as ad placement on TV, radio, magazines, and billboards, as well as partnerships, a dedicated website, and YouTube teasers. Other traditional elements included in-person PR (interviews, red carpet), online PR (blogs and social media), and cross-marketing partnerships. The Catching Fire campaign was an elaborate effort that went beyond movie posters and websites to attract attention and create intrigue in

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curious fans’ minds. Tim Palen, Lionsgate’s marketing chief, who was responsible for crafting the message and the images, remarked, “This was dramatically different from anything we did for the first movie. It was brave of the filmmakers to agree we should be that bold.”5 Teaser billboards began appearing in April 2013, well in advance of the film’s slated November opening, depicting futuristic fashion called “Capitol Couture” that garnered fans’ eyeballs and attention (see Exhibit 4 and Exhibit 5). When curious fans googled the terms “Capitol Couture,” they reached a Tumblr site about the Capitol. The Tumblr site in turn led to the Capitol’s links on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Although fans had encountered the Capitol and its districts in the novels, these sites allowed them a much deeper engagement with life in the hard-edged city. Fans could experience the strange world of fashion in the Capitol through these sites and links, much more so than they ever could in the books and the movies. As in the books and movies, the Capitol largely was depicted as dark, mysterious and intimidating.

Tumblr The Capitol Couture Tumblr (http://capitolcouture.pn) allowed Hunger Games fans to engage

deeply with the culture of the Capitol. Even though the Capitol formed an important part of the story’s plot, it had remained mysterious in the books and movies. The Tumblr site changed this by offering fans a look into the strange world of fashion in the Capitol. The Capitol Couture Tumblr was designed like an online magazine and celebrated the “incredible achievements” of the Capitol in art, fashion, and design. Articles on fashion and culture were penned by real-life writers, who were featured on the site and given titles such as Editor-in-Chief, Fashion Designer, Capitol Correspondent and Capitol Contributor, thus blurring the lines between fact and fiction.

The online magazine, which borrowed its look and feel from real-life luxury magazines, also contained elaborate photographs of the film’s characters taken by Tim Palen, a professional photographer who had led previous Lionsgate campaigns for movies such as Saw and Warrior. He was said to be as enthusiastic as the teenage fans of the film, and author Suzanne Collins felt that the film’s marketing under Palen was in safe hands. Palen had consulted closely with Collins before conceptualizing the campaign. Palen and his team designed the Capitol Portraits, a series of detailed and dramatic photographs that vividly depicted each of the eleven major characters in the film (see Exhibit 6). Each portrait’s release became a major event and was sent to the magazine’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. Simultaneously, the portraits were also distributed to a team of partners such as Yahoo Movies, MTV, MSN, and the Huffington Post. These media outlets agreed to refer to the images as Capitol Portraits, and similar outlets did the same.

Palen did not rely on overt product placements in the movie, knowing that such gimmicks tended to turn off fans. Instead, he gave promotional partners such as cosmetics brand CoverGirl, fashion e-tailer Net-a-Porter and nail-polish brand China Glaze space in Capitol Couture to promote their products which tied in to the film. “There’s a little punk-rock, anti-establishment in the true core fans, the purists [of the franchise],” Palen told Variety. “There was always a strong sense we should keep [the campaign] authentic and not overtly gross.”6

5 Marc Graser, “Lionsgate’s Tim Palen Crafts Stylish Universe for ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire,’” Variety, October 29, 2013.

6 Ibid.

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Even though the Capitol Couture Tumblr site did not add much to the film’s story, it offered deeper insight into the ostentatious and fashionable life in the Capitol and served to expand the narrative and the fans’ experience. The Tumblr site was clearly the showpiece of the campaign. It featured futuristic, avant-garde fashion as well as makeup and beauty (such as the CoverGirl Capitol Collection7) and design and architecture at the Capitol. Capitol Updates led to a Twitter page consisting of tweets and updates. The Tumblr site also served as the gateway to links on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and YouTube.

YouTube YouTube served as another social sharing medium for Catching Fire. Called CapitolTV, the

YouTube channel (https://goo.gl/fjoWbt) featured previews and trailers of the film and once again channeled the fervor and creative talents of the film’s fan base. Fans were asked to post videos, which then aired on CapitolTV. The channel featured a number of slick videos, such as CapitolTV District Voices, which illustrated the various capabilities of the different districts—District 6’s powerful assault vehicles, District 5’s cutting-edge renewable energy technologies, District 8’s textiles, and District 2’s peacekeeping forces, to name a few.

Facebook Visitors who clicked on the Tumblr site’s Facebook icon were led to the One Panem Facebook

page (https://www.facebook.com/OnePanem). It featured photos, videos, and apps, and it solicited feedback to questions (“What do you hope to see in the new Panem?”). The Facebook page had an “Invite Friends to Like this Page” link as well as visitor posts. The first Facebook page for the movie series was launched in October 2011, prior to the first Hunger Games film opening in March 2012. Prior to the release of Catching Fire, a Facebook post asked citizens (fans) to identify the district to which they belonged (see Exhibit 7). The Facebook page encouraged citizens to celebrate the “victors”—their fellow citizens—and to serve their district well. The marketing campaign also used the Facebook page to launch a video teaser of the upcoming movie, calling it “an important announcement.” Finally, Facebook again was used, this time to announce the 75th Annual Hunger Games (the central event of the movie) and that all citizens were required by law to view it. Not only the Capitol but also each of the twelve districts also had its own Facebook page.

Twitter The marketing team regularly engaged with fans on Twitter and since the release of the first

Hunger Games movie, the film’s Twitter following had grown to almost one billion, a 75 percent growth over an eighteen-month period. The Twitter account (https://twitter.com/thecapitolpn) served mostly to relay public service announcements from the Capitol and post ideological messages to Panem’s citizens. These messages, for example, called upon citizens to respect their district’s boundaries (“movement beyond your district is forbidden”) and threatened punishment to those who ignored the call. In addition, the Twitter account contained links to Capitol Couture and featured the film’s official trailers and promotional pictures (see Exhibit 8).

7 “CoverGirl Gets Inspired by The Hunger Games for ‘Capitol Beauty’ Collection,” Fashion Gone Rogue, October 28, 2013, http://www.fashiongonerogue.com/covergirl-hunger-games-makeup-collection.

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Instagram Many of the fashionable photographs featured in the Capitol Couture Tumblr were also

posted on the Capitol’s Instagram site (https://instagram.com/capitolcouture). Fashion-conscious hipsters comprised a large section of Instagram users. By focusing on fashion and design rather than the overall story, Lionsgate displayed a deep understanding of the film’s niche fan base. The Instagram profile did not necessarily add to the story’s plot, but it helped to create excitement among younger fans who used the site and who were expected to share the high-fashion pictures with friends and evangelize on behalf of the film and its characters. The Capitol’s Instagram profile had 31,464 followers.

Audience Engagement

Target Audience The Catching Fire storytelling campaign catered to a very specific target audience: passionate

existing fans—not newcomers. The film’s producers looked to utilize the book series’ already-large fan base, most of whom were men and women under 25. At the very least, fans were expected to be steeped in the world of the first movie if not the book series. The social media campaign was designed to elevate the excitement among fans and cause them to start conversations about the movie and its characters with their friends and associates. The film’s marketing agency found eager fans who actively participated in the challenges thrown out by the Capitol and connected with other fans through the various social channels. As a result, fans produced a tremendous amount of user-generated content.

User-Generated Content Fan engagement could be gauged from the huge amount of fan-created content on the film’s

social media sites. On the Capitol Couture Tumblr, for example, a section called “Citizen Activity” encouraged “citizens” to post their pictures and videos showcasing their fashion creations, thus serving, whether knowingly or unknowingly, as brand ambassadors. Tumblr’s focus on images and videos made the site a go-to for fans who loved fashion, design, and creativity. The Tumblr videos were quickly devoured by fans of the film, which provided strong encouragement to fans to share and participate with their own videos. Fan art and fan videos were produced and consumed at a feverish level and helped to spread the word among non-fans.

Fan Challenges and Participation A hallmark of transmedia storytelling is the engagement of fans with the plot and characters,

and the film’s creative agency lost no opportunity to connect with devoted fans. As a result, fans weren’t just watching but were actively participating in the movie’s social media channels. Running the gamut of the film’s social media strategy, fan challenges constituted a crucial part of the film’s promotional strategy. On the Capitol Couture Tumblr site, fans were encouraged to enter

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the Capitol Art Challenge and submit their own fashion creations.8 Fans were called to “toast the victors” and fan submissions were posted on the Capitol Couture site under “citizen activity.”

Another challenge, labeled “Be Fabulous, Be Capitol, Be Seen” (#CapitolStyle), called upon citizens to post or tweet pictures of their Capitol-style fashion. In yet another challenge, fans chose their red-carpet style (#CapitolRedCarpet). A quartet of judges (three real and the fictional Effie Trinket) were said to evaluate the entries to choose six finalists and, ultimately, a grand winner. Here again, the fine lines between fiction and reality were further blurred. This kind of fan engagement and participation ensured that the film had an ongoing narrative that served to enhance the film’s brand and the fans’ overall experience.

The Ultimate Fan Challenge was a gamification of fan participation. To participate in the challenge, fans had to register, use specific hashtags, enter competitions, and earn points. If they earned enough points, they could unlock badges they could use for bragging rights and to share with their friends and community.

Campaign Outcomes The Capitol’s Facebook page had over 10 million likes and over 850,000 followers on Twitter.

Catching Fire’s trailer was among YouTube’s most watched videos, and the term “Hunger Games” was one of the most searched categories on Google. The film was also a top trend on Twitter. Its Twitter account had grown to 969,373 followers. These numbers showed that the film had a solid and growing fan base that created huge amounts of user-generated content, including blogs, photos, and videos. On its opening weekend the film took in $158.1 million at the box office on the way to a total of $864.9 million globally. Catching Fire became the highest-grossing film at the domestic box office for 2013 and the tenth highest-grossing film ever at the domestic box office. It also ranked as the biggest-ever opening weekend for November and outearned other movies based on popular young-adult fiction series such as Divergent, which earned $56 million in its opening weekend, and The Maze Runner, which earned $32.5 million. Catching Fire also went on to receive numerous award nominations.

Evaluating the Transmedia Storytelling Campaign A key element of transmedia storytelling is whether the campaign focuses on telling a good

story. Having a clear plot and main idea are central to the storytelling narrative. The Hunger Games campaign tried to create an elaborate “story world” with a real country, real citizens, and a real fashion magazine to play up the emphasis on fashion and apparel in the movie’s plotline. But did all the elements hang together? Was the Capitol Couture idea coherent with the story? What about the fan challenges? What else could have been done to engage the audience in co-creation?

A second element contributing to a campaign’s success is its distribution. The film’s marketing agency had to determine the role each social media platform would play. Each platform typically is exploited for its unique qualities. On the surface, the film’s marketing tried to follow through with this strategy. On Facebook, for example, fans could register for a district and have their own district badge, which gave them a sense of belonging to Catching Fire’s story world. They could connect

8 See Capitol Art Challenge, http://capitolcouture.pn/post/64228052448/enter-the-capitol-art-challenge-capitol-couture.

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with their communities on Facebook through active participation. On Twitter, fans were given an identity such as a district mayor or a recruiter. This encouraged fans to participate and to share with friends. “We felt that this was something that we would start with the core fans, and then we could see how much we could broaden it out from there,” said Danielle DePalma, the social media strategist behind the Hunger Games campaign.9 “People started consuming it and sharing it, and it really took on a life of its own. That inspired us to push it even further.” The Tumblr blog reached out to fans with an interest in outlandish fashion, beauty, and photography.

Another key element is the involvement of the audience in shaping and sharing the story. Although fan participation and engagement was powerful, there were many questions regarding the campaign’s impact. For example, why was the Capitol “in style,” if it stood for violence, corruption, and oppression? Even fans seemed confused by the focus on the Capitol’s fashion and entertainment. Some fans blogged about the confusing message—if the Capitol was unethical, they wondered, then why should fans feel good about a fashion line that ostensibly promoted the Capitol and its fantasies? As some fans noted, was it really worth aligning with the Capitol’s outrageous ideals by becoming a part of the “future of fashion”? These observations led to many other questions. Did the fashion line really fit with the books’ message? Why was the campaign taking a risk by promoting the Capitol’s hollow glamor? Was the campaign simply selling to fans rather than selling the movie’s particular message of triumph over evil? Was it meant to simply intrigue fans and make an impression for the short-term rather than build a compelling story covering the remaining films in the franchise?

Another criterion for evaluating a transmedia campaign is whether each piece of the narrative was easy to find and if each element is connected to the main plot. This is essential to ensure that the audience did not get lost or confused by the subplots and stories. The Catching Fire campaign employed a plethora of channels to convey the film’s message and story. Did these channels really help to move the plot or did they serve to confuse and interrupt the flow? For example, the Tumblr blog Capitol Couture did not add any elements to the movie’s plot, but it illustrated the world of Panem citizens. Did it do anything to expand fans’ understanding of the movie’s plot, or did it serve to confuse fans about the eccentricities of the Capitol’s inhabitants? Did the site serve to illuminate the fact that the Capitol’s citizens lived off the wealth generated by the districts and to establish the contrast between the lives of the inhabitants of the districts and those of the Capitol? Real-life writers and designers also inhabited the blog. It was, as one critic said, “a test for those trying to find the line between reality and fiction.”10

Fan feedback provided the film’s marketing team with the cues it was looking for. Fans were clear about what they did or didn’t wish to see, and the marketing team did not ignore those wishes. Even though the film’s fans typically skewed younger, it was careful not to ignore fans older than the under-25-year-old core target. The film’s marketing tried to connect to a broader audience, but most of the efforts focused on the die-hard fans of the franchise. Was Lionsgate preaching to the choir by spending millions on advertising to an already captive audience? And how would this influence the marketing for the next movie in the series? With the kind of fan participation established by Catching Fire, would fans continue to be invested in and engaged with the film series?

9 Quoted in Ari Karpel, “Inside ‘The Hunger Games’ Social Media Machine,” Fast Company Co.Create, April 9, 2012. 10 Emily Asher-Perrin, “Is the Capitol Couture Clothing Line Sending the Wrong Message to Hunger Games Fans?” Tor.com,

September 18, 2013.

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Lionsgate introduced new partnerships with the release of Catching Fire. But the tie-ins with brands like Subway, CoverGirl, and Net-a-Porter did not seem to connect well with the movie’s storyline, despite significant fan interest in fashion and beauty products. The merchandising tie- up with Subway for a line of limited edition sandwiches seemed especially odd for a film about hunger and starvation. It was aimed at Subway customers who were already fans of The Hunger Games, as well as new enthusiasts. The beauty partnerships ignored men and children even though data showed many fans were hunting for men’s and children’s fashion pieces. Almost half of the film’s fans were male, suggesting a strong potential for additional tie-ins. Another demographic to which the film did not strongly cater was mothers who shopped for themselves as well as for their children.

The Catching Fire campaign did not ignore traditional media such as print ads, TV commercials, and posters (see Exhibit 9). Rather, it turned those efforts into carefully orchestrated online events. For example, the release of each character’s poster became an online event as fans rushed to Twitter to look at the images. Also, one of the film’s lead actors, Josh Hutcherson, introduced the first trailer on the TV show Good Morning America, which meant the online efforts were being amplified offline. Leading magazines also cooperated with Lionsgate to release cover pictures of the characters to build buzz. Traditional was thus married with online to create a synergistic effort. With the amount of attention and details given to the posters/portraits, fashion, and beauty, how would this movement carry over to the marketing of the next movie? Could some elements of the campaign be repeated, or were they meant to be “one-off” efforts dedicated to the particular movie being released? The marketing for Catching Fire was designed to reach a bigger audience and was much more elaborate than the marketing for the first Hunger Games movie. Could this level of brand and world building be sustained for the next two movies in the franchise?

The Sequel: Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 The next installment in the Hunger Games series would be Mockingjay Part 1. How would

the film’s marketers build upon the platform created for The Hunger Games and Catching Fire? Lionsgate had stepped up the marketing for Catching Fire with the faux fashion magazine (Capitol Couture), the elaborate photo shoot, CapitolTV District Voices on YouTube, and the mobile app. The marketing platform of the first two Hunger Games movies had laid the groundwork for an ongoing conversation among fans and enabled them to continue to share and spread the word online. The campaign for Mockingjay Part 1 would need to leverage that foundation and expand the storyline, as well as audience engagement. Were certain elements in the film’s marketing message programmatic and able to be reused to maintain continuity?

For example, Lionsgate could retool Capitol Couture and CapitolTV to promote Mockingjay, but that could send a mixed message to fans. During the Catching Fire campaign, those media channels had been used as a propaganda machine for the Capitol, but for Mockingjay they would need to promote the concept of rebellion against the Capitol. Could Lionsgate again use the propaganda-style Capitol Portraits to tantalize fans? Could it successfully blur the line between reality and fiction once again by establishing partnerships with real designers masquerading as Panem citizens? Lionsgate also needed to consider whether to continue using low-cost media such as YouTube to advertise the film. Typically, it took a year or two to maximize demand for a film. In the interim, what new partnerships and storytelling techniques could Lionsgate execute to keep fans interested?

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Conclusion Brand storytelling has been used by successful brands to differentiate themselves and to

enhance audience interest and engagement. Transmedia brand storytelling is a subset of digital brand storytelling that uses various media and distribution platforms to promote a brand. A transmedia marketing campaign is judged on its pervasiveness across all platforms at all times, on persistent story development in real time, on level of audience participation, and on a personalized and integrated experience. The transmedia storytelling campaign for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire intriguingly blurred the lines between fact and fiction, keeping fans at once guessing and engaged. From the designers (who were presented as Capitol citizens) and labels of Capitol Couture, to the enthusiastic participation of fans that expanded the original narrative, Catching Fire executed a campaign that ignited its core fans’ curiosity and participation in and evangelizing about the film. Most important, the promotional social media campaign sought to elevate the Hunger Games brand and bring it closer to its fans. In the process, the film had risked overwhelming fans with too much content.

Could the ongoing promotional campaign be leveraged to keep fans connected to the saga and invested in the characters’ narrative in the movie’s sequels? Could transmedia storytelling for the film continue to enhance the audience experience before people even bought the tickets to the movie? Could the campaign enhance the Hunger Games brand and leave the audience wanting more?

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Exhibit 1: Audi A3 “Art of the Heist” Ad Campaign

Source: “Audi—Art of the Heist Case Study,” posted by Syed Abdul Karim Tanveer on November 21, 2010, https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=z5w2CNB9clw.

Exhibit 2: Game of Thrones

Source: “Game of Thrones Case Study,” posted by Campfire on September 19, 2011, https://vimeo.com/29285256.

For the exclusive use of A. Haggi, 2018.

This document is authorized for use only by Abdullah Haggi in Buyer Behavior taught by Dr. Matthew D. Meng, Utah State University from March 2018 to May 2018.

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H u n g e r g a m e s : C a t C H i n g F i r e KEL964

K e l l o g g s C H o o l o F m a n a g e m e n t

Exhibit 3: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Movie Trailer

Source: “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire—Review SPOT (2013),” posted by Movieclips Trailers on November 21, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krWqNNyJYGw.

For the exclusive use of A. Haggi, 2018.

This document is authorized for use only by Abdullah Haggi in Buyer Behavior taught by Dr. Matthew D. Meng, Utah State University from March 2018 to May 2018.

1 3

H u n g e r g a m e s : C a t C H i n g F i r eKEL964

K e l l o g g s C H o o l o F m a n a g e m e n t

Exhibit 4: Capitol Couture

Source: http://capitolcouture.pn/post/58828194221/sight-unseen-capitol-couture-unveils-unique (accessed January 27, 2016).

For the exclusive use of A. Haggi, 2018.

This document is authorized for use only by Abdullah Haggi in Buyer Behavior taught by Dr. Matthew D. Meng, Utah State University from March 2018 to May 2018.

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H u n g e r g a m e s : C a t C H i n g F i r e KEL964

K e l l o g g s C H o o l o F m a n a g e m e n t

Exhibit 5: Capitol Couture Cinna Fragrance

Source: http://capitolcouture.pn/post/58073053965/a-spritz-of-cinna-could-a-new-scent-compete-with (accessed January 27, 2016).

For the exclusive use of A. Haggi, 2018.

This document is authorized for use only by Abdullah Haggi in Buyer Behavior taught by Dr. Matthew D. Meng, Utah State University from March 2018 to May 2018.

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H u n g e r g a m e s : C a t C H i n g F i r eKEL964

K e l l o g g s C H o o l o F m a n a g e m e n t

Exhibit 6: Capitol Portraits

Source: https://www.tumblr.com/tagged/capitol-portraits (accessed January 27, 2016).

For the exclusive use of A. Haggi, 2018.

This document is authorized for use only by Abdullah Haggi in Buyer Behavior taught by Dr. Matthew D. Meng, Utah State University from March 2018 to May 2018.

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H u n g e r g a m e s : C a t C H i n g F i r e KEL964

K e l l o g g s C H o o l o F m a n a g e m e n t

Exhibit 7: Facebook

Source: “Citizens: Obtain Your Physical DIP Immediately,” November 8, 2013, http://www.panempropaganda.com/news/2013/11/8/ citizens-obtain-your-physical-dip-immediately.html (site discontinued) and “Reminder: Respect Your Victors, November 13, 2013, http://www.panempropaganda.com/news/2013/11/13/reminder-respect-your-victors.html (site discontinued).

For the exclusive use of A. Haggi, 2018.

This document is authorized for use only by Abdullah Haggi in Buyer Behavior taught by Dr. Matthew D. Meng, Utah State University from March 2018 to May 2018.

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H u n g e r g a m e s : C a t C H i n g F i r eKEL964

K e l l o g g s C H o o l o F m a n a g e m e n t

Exhibit 8: Twitter

Source: https://twitter.com/TheHungerGames (accessed September 1, 2015).

For the exclusive use of A. Haggi, 2018.

This document is authorized for use only by Abdullah Haggi in Buyer Behavior taught by Dr. Matthew D. Meng, Utah State University from March 2018 to May 2018.

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H u n g e r g a m e s : C a t C H i n g F i r e KEL964

K e l l o g g s C H o o l o F m a n a g e m e n t

Exhibit 9: The Hunger Games Movie Series Posters

Source: Racheli Evanson, “Transmedia Storytelling,” Vivian’s Voice (blog), April 2, 2015, https://viviansvoice.wordpress.com/2015/ 04/02/transmedia-storytelling.

For the exclusive use of A. Haggi, 2018.

This document is authorized for use only by Abdullah Haggi in Buyer Behavior taught by Dr. Matthew D. Meng, Utah State University from March 2018 to May 2018.