'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' ad campaign gets stamp of approval from Suzanne Collins

Promotions for 'Catching Fire' have included a fake website which features glamorous shots of the movie's main characters.

Murray Close/Lionsgate/AP
The 'Hunger Games' films star Jennifer Lawrence.

The Hunger Games” author Suzanne Collins recently spoke out in support of an unusual ad campaign that’s being conducted to promote the upcoming release of the film adaptation of the second book of her "Hunger Games" trilogy, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”

In addition to the usual trailers for the film, the movie’s studio Lionsgate also created a fake online magazine titled Capitol Couture that imitates popular fashion publications and features “interviews” with the fictional tributes who are forced to participate in the new Hunger Games to be seen in “Catching Fire.”

The fake publication is in line with the high priority placed on fashion in the superficial Capitol in Collins’s world and the way that the tributes who are chosen for the Games instantly become celebrities.

Cover Girl is also promoting products in tandem with “Catching Fire,” allowing consumers to “choose their district” and creating makeup looks based on the main products of each district. (A customer choosing district four, for example, would be offered blue and green products based on the fact that the district is responsible for much of the fishing done by the country). 

Fans can also buy Capitol-inspired looks designed by the movies’ costume designer Trish Summerville through retailer Net-A-Porter.

According to Variety, Lionsgate marketing chief Tim Palen has spearheaded this effort.

Collins told Variety she is impressed by the marketing campaign.

“I’m thrilled with the work Tim Palen and his marketing team have done on the film,” Collins told the publication via e-mail. “It’s appropriately disturbing and thought-provoking how the campaign promotes ‘Catching Fire’ while simultaneously promoting the Capitol’s punitive forms of entertainment. The stunning image of Katniss in her wedding dress that we use to sell tickets is just the kind of thing the Capitol would use to rev up its audience for the Quarter Quell [the name of the games in “Catching Fire”]. That dualistic approach is very much in keeping with the books.”

Lionsgate marketing chief Tim Palen told Variety that he thinks placing the movie tie-ins in Collins’ universe will appeal to “Hunger Games” fans who might be leery of overt product placement.

“There’s a little punk-rock, anti-establishment in the true core fans, the purists,” Palen said of the books’ fan base. “There was always a strong sense we should keep [the campaign] authentic and not overtly gross.”

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