How The Hunger Games is tapping social for teens

1. I am mildly obsessed with the Hunger Games these days, having finished all three books in a two-week timeframe.

2. I geek out far further than I ever should admit over the ever changing mold of what communication means to different demographics.

OK, so those may not be the juiciest of secrets and I may be a total nerd for sharing both, but I love it even more when the things I’m in love with collide perfectly.

The Hunger Games, the first book of a wildly popular teen book series will make its film debut this March and, to no surprise, there is no shortage of promotion taking place. However, outside of your typical TV spots, product promos and sneak peak YouTube trailers, the team behind this blockbuster is building connections with their target teen audience through personal, whimsical content.

This week the film added Tumblr to its growing list of social and digital outreach, which already includes Facebook, Twitter and an interactive site to name a few.

By offering up content on Tumblr through a pseudo magazine, fans are taken directly into the world of the Capitol, the reigning government of the country of Panem, by sharing the fashions and culture of the society. I could go on about the wonderful behind the scenes clips and “articles” profiling the story’s main characters, but the true spark within this presence is the pure match that has been made to the film’s most valuable demographic.

According to Qantcast, nearly 50% of Tumblr’s visitors are under the age of 24 within the US. We also know the teen demographic does not view advertising the same way as their parents or grandparents once did. They want to make a connection, support things they believe in and share genuine content.

The Hunger Games is using Tumblr to do just that. Yes, they could share bland by comparison examples of products supporting the Hunger Games logo or a quick clip from the movie. Yes, it would still be shared 1000′s of times. However, by displaying a product as if it were a real ad in a real Panem government magazine or sharing a gif as if the paparazzi has spotted characters in real time, the content now embodies everything this generation seeks in the brands followed. The advertisements, brands and content featured within the posts to come will also bring a new air of whimsy, passion and sharability to the same content, which in a different voice may have been lost to this audience.

As we as marketers look to realign how we think of brand personality, consumption and real life translation, we must consider how this shift in the consumer mindset will not deter us from connecting messages for brands, but to think of new ways to create a build relationships with those consumers who desire them most.

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