Mar 23

Social Media Hit or Miss: Hungry for The Hunger Games and No Cheaters


Here’s our take on which brands have made an impact, for better and for worse, across the social media sphere this week. Brands are chosen based on compelling recommendations, best practices and overall reach and impact.

Hungry for More?

The Hunger Games movie premieres in theaters today, but the anticipation and audience for the teen books-turned-film have been building months in advance. Turning an offline (book) sensation into a movie doesn’t guarantee instant success, and consumers expect more early access to film inspiration. Movies are turning to social media in pre-marketing efforts, but The Hunger Games has set record numbers for acquiring fan excitement and engagement in advance. The Hunger Games has comprehensive social media presence, from Facebook with 3.2 million likes to Twitter with more than 330,000 followers and of course, YouTube, which 20 million video views.

#BrandHit Learnings:

  • Create pulses of activity: One hundred days before theatrical release, the movie distributed 100 puzzle pieces from a movie poster among a variety of websites. Twelve days before the premiere, The Hunger Games launched a hashtag contest on Twitter for tickets. Crafting moments in time offers the opportunity for spikes in conversation, but also helps build momentum for long-term awareness.
  • Offer variety of content: The Facebook page maintains multiple tabs including a livestream of the red carpet premiere, an ID card application and the film also has an iPhone/iPad game. This provides multiple opportunities to connect with users.
  • Continuity doesn’t mean uniformity: The film’s Tumblr, Capitol Couture, doesn’t just duplicate content from the Facebook page or website. Instead, it focuses on the movie’s style and clearly appeals to a niche audience of fashion-forward enthusiasts with almost 40,000 unique visitors per month.
Don’t be a Cheater!

A Reebok ad campaign in Germany has caused quite the stir with the slogan, “Cheat on your girlfriend, not on your workout”. While men likely wouldn’t use this as inspiration for infidelity, it’s understandable how women may find it offensive. While Reebok has since pulled the ads and issued a statement of apology, we think there are a few additional steps that could have been taken to  reinforce a positive brand reputation.

#BrandMiss Learnings:

  • Local social media monitoring: Every region and/or country should be responsible for monitoring their marketing efforts, to see any potential commentary flare-ups. Even a Google Alert would have caught initial dialogue about this ad, prompting Reebok to consider pulling the ad earlier or informing corporate.
  • From paper to tweet:Traditional advertising is no longer exclusive to social media. Just because the content isn’t online (a print poster), doesn’t mean it won’t end up there. Mobile phones and tablet devices allow access to the web from anywhere, and have lots of channels to share on, so anything is fair game.
  • Be cautious with moral humor: Directly associating a controversial topic with a brand is dicey, and often causes even the most latent individuals to become extremely loud and passionate. Always keep your core influencer groups in mind and be prepared for their reactions, comments and questions by developing the necessary escalation policies in your social media monitoring.