On November 20th, Katniss Everdeen will reintroduce herself to moviegoers with the release of Mockingjay – Part 1, the latest film in the Hunger Games franchise. And the marketing efforts for the flick are catching fire.
The Hunger Games is almost as big on YouTube as it is at the box office, and film distributor Lionsgate is taking advantage of that appeal by striking a partnership with Google. The studio worked with Google’s Art, Copy & Code and the team at YouTube Space LA to develop District Voices, a five-part video series set in the world of Panem.
Each video in the District Voices series was filmed at YouTube Space LA, and will be distributed through Capitol TV, a web video platform and “the government-sanctioned television network of The Hunger Games.” The videos profile various elements of the Hunger Games world, and each one feature YouTube content creators in starring roles.
Here are some descriptions of the upcoming District Voices videos:
Monday, October 20 – District 8: Rob Czar & Corinne Leigh, co-helmers of the ‘Threadbanger’ YouTube channel, show how to best make use of excess Peacekeeper armor.
Tuesday, October 21 – District 2: Shane Fazen, of the ‘fightTIPS’ YouTube channel, showcases the training and techniques required to be a Peacekeeper in Panem.
Wednesday, October 22 – District 5: Derek Muller, known for the mind-blowing experiments and scientific discussions on his YouTube channel ‘Veritasium’, demonstrates new ways in which the Capitol may generate its electricity in the future.
Thursday, October 23 – District 9: Jimmy Wong & Ashley Adams, best known for their ‘Feast of Fiction’ YouTube channel, demonstrate baking techniques from Panem’s Grain District.
Friday, October 24 – District 6: iJustine’s Justine Ezarik, gives a glimpse at the driving force that proudly supports the transportation needs of Panem’s vaunted Peacekeepers.
And here’s trailer on the official Hunger Games YouTube channel that offers an early look at the state-sanctioned shorts:
“Our mission has always been to engage our Hunger Games fans in the most innovative and authentic ways possible,” said Lionsgate EVP of Digital Marketing Danielle De Palma in a release. “We cannot think of a better partner than these incredible YouTube stars, who truly bring new content to life in the world of Panem and extend our storytelling to online audiences in exciting new directions.”
De Palma has good reasons to praise YouTube. The Hunger Games franchise is extremely popular on Google’s video platform, where promos for its upcoming sequels rack up millions of views and regularly end up among the most viewed trailers of the season. When the first Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, arrived in theaters, it triggered a wave of related content across YouTube, with creators figuring out unique ways to tie their videos into the world of Panem. This time around, Lionsgate is taking a more active role in production, and that should result in some high-value videos.
Look for new installments of District Voices all week long. If the propaganda/marketing racks up enough clicks, perhaps the Capitol will release District Voices from the other seven officially recognized districts in the not-so-distant future. It would be great to see other prominent YouTube stars (like Joey Graceffa – aka arguably the YouTube community’s biggest Hunger Games fan) create sanctioned videos to keep the people in Panem in check.