Wednesday, 26 November 2014

EDITORIAL: Our Highlights From The 'Mockingjay - Part 1' Marketing Campaign

Well, it's been an interesting year for us, to say the least. Given all the buzz that's going on outside our Hunger Games fan bubble about a certain 88-second teaser trailer causing a disturbance in the force this Thanksgiving weekend, amongst other things including but not limited to dinosaurs, we've decided to dedicate this post to the rollercoaster ride that was the marketing campaign for Mockingjay - Part 1.

And boy, has it been a rollercoaster indeed. From rumours to runtimes, from trailers to Twitter trends, from disappointment to absolute's been a fun, if not unexpected, for this sort of blockbuster film, ride. Below are some of our highlights of the campaign:

1. The In-Universe Stuff

Because that's what really kicked things into high gear in mid-late June, when hope has all but dwindles for a start as early as Catching Fire. From the Capitol website refresh to the District Voices posters, to the unconventional and intriguing pair of teaser trailers, to finally the District 13 site and all the hacks these past few weeks, those experiences were among the most central for fans - but we also have to commend Lionsgate's bravery of putting these materials on for the non-fan audience - the Capitol TV 'Panem Address' teaser trailers were placed with copies of Transformers: Age of Extinction and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes respectively - two of the biggest films of the summer. Remember the chill everyone had when Beetee proclaimed 'The Mockingjay Lives' and the phrase immediately became trending on Twitter within minutes of the teaser's online release? Those were great times...

2. Radically changed expectations...

As Haymitch would say - "I want you guys to forget everything you know..." - from rumour upon debunked rumour - of the teaser trailer (NOT) debuting with MTV Movie Awards in April, to the Cannes Film Festival, to (at the time apparently lack of) plans for San-Diego Comic Con, to variations of the question WHERE IS THE TRAILER teased by international distributors - it's like they wanted fans to suffer...but was it enjoyable in the end? When everything started all coming together this Fall, from the fantastic albeit short (blamed mostly on the NATO guidelines, but surely the trailers released following Mockingjay's and this weekend's "event" prove that they don't matter) main trailer, to the thankfully timely release of the final trailer and start of the television campaign, the wait, the occasional letdowns, definitely paid off for us. In terms of boxoffice whether the more low-key trailer campaign paid off is debatable (some are citing that as one of the reasons for the surprising drop from the first two film's high domestic opening weekend grosses) - the question also remains, do we want something as 'game-changing' as this to happen next year?
3. #TheHashtagGames

Yes - this is our absolutely favourite #UnlockMockingjay fiasco - you can read all about the fandom's frustrations over at Jabberjays, but it's things like this that truly show how powerful one voi- ahem the voice of the fandom can be, especially the entire world joins in, as they did here, and most recently with #BuyTheHangingTreeOniTunes - our very own Katniss doing better in the charts than the hotly-debated 'soundtrack' album's lead single? Now that's one hell of an accomplishment...

4. The Gorgeous Key Art

And if there's one thing Tim Palen's team did not let up on, it's what Palen does best - the posters. Striking, chilling, desolate, beautiful, they really were something to behold - even the 'leftovers' used for the home media release (see the Target exclusive Blu-ray poster above) are stunning. And not only that, the fans took it upon themselves to build on their work to create something interesting, unique and stunning too - this truly is unprecedented among blockbuster franchises. With what's in store, and what we already have a little taster of (stay till the very end of the credits, remember?), for Part 2 - we cannot wait to see what the award-winning team has in store.

And to finish up here's some of our 2015 Wish List:
  1. Go BIG - with so many movie events heading to our screens the next 12 months, from Avengers: Age of Ultron to Bond 24, it'll be surprising not to see them take advantage of to promote the epic conclusion to the Mockingjay legend. With shooting now over and the crew deeper in post production starting next week, there should be ample time to knock everyone's - from fans to non-fans - socks off with big and exciting teases of what the final film will have in store - 
  2. Take us, the fans, to the next level, and not just coming back to SDCC big time - Wanna take it one step further? Maybe throw something fan-exclusive and huge like what a certain other fandom is doing this weekend - let's hope any geo restrictions don't come into play as much as they did this year because that did seem to be a problem for many of us...but at the same time, take advantage of the exclusive opportunities! Make us stand out!
  3. Make Francis keep his Twitter promise - because we all need more of the King of Fandom in our timelines :)
Now - what did you all think of the campaign this year? Good, bad, exciting, letdown? What do you want to see happen next year for Part 2? Longer trailers? More posters? Let us know on our Twitter and in the comments section's been a great year and we can't wait to get back in the game next year. Well, then again, we could get something with the Blu-ray first...

P.S. And just another reminder for those seeing the film this weekend:


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