NECA’s The Hunger Games Online Marketing

Market & Convert was tasked with the online promotion of NECA (National Entertainment Collectibles Association)‘s “The Hunger Games” merchandise and Facebook game.

An Excellent Read, Fantastic To Market

The Hunger Games, a trilogy by Susanne Collins, tells the story of Panem, a post-apocalyptic country divided in districts tyrannically controlled by “The Capitol”. During the Hunger Games, select “tributes” from each district, all amongst 12-16 years old, compete until there’s only one survivor.

NECA created all of the merchandise for the books, along with a board game and a Facebook game. Market & Convert was in charge of promoting the online aspect the THG license.

Focus On Social Media

The books were aimed at Young Adult readers, a crowd heavily engaged in Social Media and a great aversion to regular online ads. Early on, we chose twitter as our main communication channel, and started a Facebook Fan page to help players with FB questions.

It was NECA’s idea to create an in-voice campaign that’d allow our audience to quickly identify our persona as a true character. We created PanemTV as the “official voice of The Capitol” and began interacting with readers and fans as if we were on the side of The Capitol and against the revolution.

Because of our unusual stance, the level of engagement with PanemTV was extremely high, and because we never broke character, few people were able to connect us with NECA or any other entity. That made the entire campaign much more “true” and a lot of fun. Our staff read all 3 books and became great fans of the series.

The Real Development

Because we needed a “HUB” to give people more in-depth information (Facebook & Twitter are very brief vehicles), we created NECAHUNGERGAMES.COM. More than just a HUB, it became a great catalog site for NECA and an entry point for people looking for The Hunger Games products.

Once the site was created, we invested a small amount into Pay Per Click – Facebook Ads and Google AdWords were the preferred platforms.

The traffic we were able to build towards the site and the Facebook game itself quickly proved to be more than the game’s server could handle. We worked through some of the major issues with the game developers, but unfortunately they were unable to keep the game up.

Current Status

With The Hunger Games movie scheduled for a 2012 release, we expect to revamp all PanemTV activities. Current efforts are close to none, but our Twitter account remains popular 😉

“May the odds be ever in your favor”