The Ingenuity of Mockingjay Advertising

Mockingjay Part 1 (the third installment of the Hunger Games, for those unaware) comes out on November 21, and the advertising that’s been sweeping the web (and the streets) is pretty awesome. If there is anything that fans of Hunger Games know, it’s that advertising is propaganda with a more easily consumable name. To that point, the clever movie marketers bring the war in Panem to our world.

The ads started with Capitol propaganda. Panem is a post-apocolyptic North America split up into districts. The Capitol is the technologically advanced city where the nation’s wealthy and powerful live. The first teaser trailers are two in-universe promos: The “Together as One” address on the importance of unity from President Snow (Donald Sutherland), who is flanked by Peeta (taken captive by the Capitol at the end of Catching Fire). Following the initial Unity speech comes a second, this one hacked by District 13 to announce that the Mockingjay lives:

The posters of “Panem’s Heroes” followed.

Click to see the other posters

Then, around NYC and other cities, Capitol billboards appear to be vandalized by Mockingjay graffiti, signifying the rebels hacking their way to revolution.


Next came the District 13 citizen posters, taking us into the world a little more to show us more than Capitol propaganda, but also what life is like at District 13.

Click to see the other posters

Following the District 13 posters came rebel posters and a real teaser trailer, plus a little teaser for when the full trailer will premiere.

Click to see the other posters
Click to see the other posters


And, finally, the long-awaited trailer:

So, why is all of this so awesome? Because the advertising takes what is happening in the book and makes it real. It takes what we’ve read in the books and what we’ve seen in the movies and immerses us in the world of Panem right on our own city streets. We, the viewers, become part of it via Capitol propaganda, Mockingjay graffiti, apps and games. When an audience who cares about the series is brought in to help Katniss and the rebels fight against the corrupt Capitol, it makes for incredibly effective advertising.

Hunger Games App
Hunger Games App

And it doesn’t just end at teaser trailers and posters. The app Our Leader the Mockingjay has announcements and information about the film, media and an “access restricted” section. Users can also create their own Mockingjay graffiti and find others’ graffiti. Another fantastic example of user interaction is how users can hack into the Capitol using their desktop and mobile device to change Capitol information and unlock further hacks as they go. There are other interactive games available as well.

Advertising is great and it can be really effective, but it’s often the conversation around that advertising that has the most significant impact. And the conversation has been rumbling about this film from the get go, with the first teaser trailer informing the viewer of the release date and encouraging them to use the hashtag associated with it, #OurLeaderTheMockingjay.

I haven’t even covered some of the other aspects of Mockingjay marketing—there’s too much for one blog post to cover, but doing some browsing on will reveal a lot.

What can content marketers learn from this? Good advertising means knowing your audience. From there, you can use the touchpoints your audience uses: Video, blog posts, graphic design, social media and other places where fans get together to gossip. And don’t forget the most important: word of mouth. Nearly every time I discovered a new trailer or posters, it was via someone I follow on Twitter/Facebook or a friend sharing it with me.

What do you think of the Mockingjay advertising? Will you be watching the movie? Let us know in the comments.

Enjoyed this post? Read more about advertising.

Vanessa Levin-PompetzkiDigital Media Coordinator

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