Adapting a bestselling young-adult novel to the big screen makes things a bit simpler from an advertising standpoint: Filmmakers already have a built-in audience to target and bounce feedback off. However, that doesn't mean the studios can run a hands-off ad campaign.
Take, for instance, Lionsgate's marketing method for the highly anticipated "Hunger Games" adaptation. For the movie, the studio has taken a rather straightforward approach in today's web-centric world. As the New York Times Brooks Barnes states, "Lionsgate used all the usual old-media tricks -- giving away 80,000 posters, securing almost 50 magazine cover stories, advertising on 3,000 billboards and bus shelters."
Of course, that doesn't mean they shunned the Internet completely -- the studio also had their hands full with a year-long Internet blitz on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and "Hunger Games" fans sites.
Overall, the relatively small $45 million marketing budget (studios usually spend up to $100 million on major releases like this one), seems to have paid off for Lionsgate: "The Hunger Games" is expected to have a huge opening at the box office this weekend, something which may have been helped by the creative way the studio has marketed the film. In all the trailers for "The Hunger Games" the Hunger Games themselves haven't been glimpsed.
"If you can get people excited while insinuating that you haven't even shown them the good stuff yet, it's an incredibly powerful notion," Jim Gallagher, a former marketing consultant for Disney told the Los Angeles Times last week. "Most films can't afford to play so coy."
"The Hunger Games" is poised to earn even more than "Breaking Dawn" at the box office, according to tracking numbers reported by THR.
For more on the "Hunger Games" ad campaign, along with the difficulty of marketing the story where kids are forced to kill each other, head to the New York Times.