November 22, 2013

Should there be tie-ins for The Hunger Games?

Tomorrow morning, I’ll be watching Day of the Doctor. I’m going to try to clear my schedule and watch it in my room, with plenty of water and tissues. Just so I’m prepared.

I think that when The Hunger Games came out, I wrote a post about how weird it was to hear questions from the media that completely ignored the message of the movie. Most of the questions were about trying to suggest there was an actual love triangle, when let’s face it, any of the romantic sub-plot stuff is minimal at best.

While I applaud the social media angle that they took to promote the movie, by focusing on the Capitol and the fashion… it’s something that fans of the book understand. It doesn’t seem to be something that the rest of the marketing team gets.

With Catching Fire, I’ve seen more couture tie-ins than with the first movie- odd since the focus of the books and movies shifts in this one to revolution and turmoil.

And then you get to all the promo tie ins. I’ve seen it promoted on ESPN, which makes sense on the surface, but considering you’re talking about games in which kids die, seems pretty tacky.

Then there’s a Subway spot for their new “bold” flavored stuff which talked about bold being things like standing up for your beliefs (showing the man in District 11 doing the salute to Peeta and Katniss) or testing your limits and defying all odds (showing Katniss before the games start) and then immediately talks about how their sandwich revolutionizes bold flavor. REVOLUTIONIZES. It isn’t a clever play on words, it’s diminishing the message of the movies and books by equating it with Sriracha on a sandwich.

I don’t often get upset about tie-ins. I really don’t. I could care less about McDonald’s promoting a kids’ movie. But this? The entire book series is about a society where the wealthy commercialize everything at the cost of lives of the many. Where children are sacrificed to keep the masses docile, and disguised as entertainment for the wealthy.

The Capitol Couture blog is clever, because it’s from the POV of the Capitol – it’s information about the movie wrapped in propaganda. But actual tie ins with luxury brands? I really don’t see how that’s in the spirit of the books or the movies. I’d actually rather see THG promoting charities aimed at stopping hunger, promoting literacy and social advocacy. Because it isn’t a love story. It isn’t about anyone transforming themselves into anything else, or what they’re wearing. It’s about exposing a flawed socioeconomic system, using Bread and Circuses (which is where Panem gets its name).

All I know is that I have no idea what anyone in Lionsgate’s marketing department is going to do when they get to Mockingjay. Because it is a bleak story that you cannot possibly put a candy-coated spin on. Bleak. Bleak. Bleak. But they will and I’m sure I’ll complain about it.

Oh well. Time to stop hulking out for the moment, and get back to preparing for Thanksgiving.

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