Advertising in the age of the internet presents its own unique challenges. Unlike pre-social-media days, everything is now under constant scrutiny.
In a very real way, advertising has transformed much like media itself, becoming less one-sided and more conversational.
The real trick—the Holy Grail, if you will—is for an ad to “go viral.” But that’s often easier said than done.
The very nature of virality suggests an accidental fortune—Google's GOOGL -0.73% definition of the word: “the tendency of an image, video, or piece of information to be circulated rapidly and widely from one Internet user to another; the quality or fact of being viral.”
Marketing professionals continue to struggle with this concept. While Gangnam Style or Angry Birds seem to go viral almost on their own, overnight, making an ad memorable is another challenge altogether. Going viral on purpose, it turns out, is really hard.
The Hunger Games is taking a clever approach to its marketing campaign for Mockingjay: Part 1, the third film in the blockbuster series from Lionsgate (combined box office of over $1.5 billion worldwide for the first two films.)
Rather than simply release movie trailers and posters advertising the film, the latest Hunger Games entry is releasing propaganda for the film’s fictional dictatorship, Panem. The latest trailer shows President Snow (Donald Sutherland) dressed all in white standing next to Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) against an all-white background.
It’s not an ad for the film directly, but rather a message to all the districts in Panem explaining the benefits of a peaceful relationship with the Capitol—and the risks of rebellion. It’s perfectly creepy.
As we recall, the second film in the series, Catching Fire, ended with the beginning of a rebellion. This first Mockingjay trailer reminds us of that, and brings us back into the story. It’s also in keeping with the posters that have been released for the film, each readily share-able on social media.
In these posters, the Capitol “celebrates” the hard work of each District—like the miners of District 12, Katnis’s stomping grounds.
These posters are cool enough—detailed, attractive, ominous—to spread online in ways that a more traditional movie poster likely would not. There’s a whole suite of the posters, as well, making it more likely for viewers to sift through each of them