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1.How did the marketing campaign for Hunger Games: Catching Fire mark a departure from a traditional marketing campaign for a movie? What was innovative about the marketing approach adopted by Lionsgate?

2.A good transmedia storytelling campaign should be persistent, pervasive, participatory, and personalised. Critically evaluate the campaign based on these elements

3.Using any appropriate framework of analysis, critically discuss why Lionsgate focused on engaging existing fans rather than attracting new customers to the movie. Do you agree with the decision to not focus on other segments like older customers or male customers?

4.To what extent can the transmedia storytelling approach be used for marketing non-entertainment products? What contextual factors would determine the applicability and effectiveness of this approach?

Departure from Traditional Marketing for a Movie

Digital marketing is one of the important marketing procedures for all the business that are prevalent in the global marketplace. The film industry and entertainment businesses have also used the social media wisely to stir up a storm of curiosity around their new releases. Due to the flexible nature of social media and the growing importance of it in the modern world has turned it into a dependable platform for business to promote themselves (Tuten and Solomon 2017). One of the reasons for this popularity is the global aspect of the digital media. No other form of channel, other than the Social media has this ability or potentiality to connect to such a huge population for the promotion of a product (Armstrong et al. 2015). Obviously, it is quite natural that all the companies will be attracted to the features of social media and the reach it has. According to reports, it is estimated that the average age group for the social media users is between 20-25 years and the movie Hunger game is a popular franchise amongst that age group. Hence it was seen that the social media was filled with advertisements for the movie. Also, a large number of fans will swallow this unique features of advertisement, and also the marketer of the movie played unique tactics to grab the viewer in the social media called transmedia storytelling. This case study based on the marketing history of the hunger games movie which reflects the huge involvement of the social media and some unique steps which had been taken for this purpose. Viewers also played a vital role because without fans it was not possible for the movie to be such a huge success. Promotion was started six months before release date and the reason was that the marketers wanted to develop the crowd and followers to get the success of the movie by using the social media in a transparent manner. In this assignment, marketing campaign of the hunger games: catching fire will be described, and the innovation involved in it will also be discussed. Durability, persistent nature of the campaigning will also be described for understanding the nature of the campaign. Future aspect of this transmedia storytelling in non-entertaining products will also be elaborated to understand the future scope.

Q1) How did the marketing campaign for Hunger Games: Catching Fire mark a departure from a traditional marketing campaign for a movie?

Innovative Marketing Approach Adopted by Lionsgate

a) The marketing campaign of the hunger game stepped into the social media marketing in a large manner by using the Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr and twitter. That does not mean that they were avoiding the traditional method of TV and newspaper but main difference remained in the way the social media was used. They planned to get attention from the entire audience base by providing various options in the promotional sector such as fashion, games, developing a blog and many more.  The term viral marketing has been justified in this case as people sharing their videos, games, blogs and the massive response has been remarked by the marketer. Transmedia storytelling is the basic activity where they used to pique the audiences interest by revealing the story in a unique manner rather than uploading whole movie trailer. This concept of the Transmedia storytelling was influenced by the mixing of the digital and social media channels all over the world (Voigts and Nicklas 2013). This decision helps the marketer to get separated from the traditional market because this attempt of using the social media directly connects the audience with the movie by creating several interesting events, game, fashion, photography and many more (Miles et al.2016). Although traditional marketing helps to increase the brand awareness, it remains unable to involve the audience directly (Kotler, Kartajaya and Setiawan 2016). Social media opened the door of this barrier and involved the audience directly by facilitating the event where people experienced the live interpretation of the hunger game movie unfolding their story. Obviously, the facilities provided by the social media are large and global in scale which beats the traditional campaigns. Limitations of the traditional method are revealed in the market when social media arrived with a broader aspect. The traditional media channels can add to the popularity of the movies but the present youth, which also is the target audience, wishes to connect and interact with the movie team and it can only be done via social media. Such communication and interaction makes sure that the marketing of the film progresses in the right direction and captures more public attention. As a result, Hunger games received best reviews from the audience and went on to become the highest grossing film released in the month of November (Boxofficemojo.com 2018). The wide reach of the social media remains the foremost reason for the traditional media to get beaten by Social media.

Critically Evaluate the Campaign based on Transmedia Storytelling Elements


What was innovative about the marketing approach adopted by Lionsgate?

Innovation, in this case, was marvellous and tactical because they released a teaser billboard called “Capitol Couture” and when people search it on Google they find a link of Tumblr site from where they can go to the Facebook, Twiter, youtube and many more channels. Basically, they used the Tumblr as a bridge of their promotion. They designed the whole page as an online magazine and achieved the huge response in building Capitol’s fashion, art design and many more. A professional photographer Tim Palen photographed every 11 characters of the movie in a major manner and got a huge response to the popular photo shoot of the characters. Tumble site helps in building the entire relationship with the audience by guiding them to the other channel. This innovative photography and fashion fever pushed the people to get in touch with the movie. Another innovative idea, which had been taken on that time, was that fans could also post their videos on you tube site, which aired on the Capitol TV (Ryan 2015). Posting photos, videos, the app in the Facebook is natural but marketers brought about the innovation in a unique style that fans could register for their district to get in touch with the movie. In twitter, fans got the designation as district mayor or a recruiter which encouraged them in participating in the event arranged by the Lionsgate. Alliance with the big brands like subway, the cover girl also enhanced their creativeness. Lionsgate realised that if they cannot involve the fans in the promotional campaign, then it will be a major failure for their transmedia storytelling technique. The innovation in the idea came to picture when they asked the fans to join the post, video, blogs which Lionsgate posted in various social media channel. With this not only their transmedia storytelling emerged the successful but the audience participation was also assured in the promotional campaign. The fans were engaged to the process and their desire to connect with the film was met by such an innovative campaign from the production house. In social media, it was evidently seen that the techniques used were successful as the audience connected with the film largely. Innovation and creativity of the marketing team helped Lionsgate to achieve audience participation by understanding the psychology of the fan base.

Q2) A good transmedia storytelling campaign should be persistent, pervasive, participatory, and personalised. Critically evaluate the campaign based on these elements:

A) Transmedia storytelling is one of the major brand promotion techniques used by various brand for their promotion. Evidence revealed that success of this transmedia storytelling outruns all other promotional activities and by applying transmedia storytelling Lionsgate got a major response which was reflected by the film’s huge opening day collections at the box office. The effectiveness of the transmedia storytelling is persistent because not only hunger games but also many other movies, the first time in The Blair Witch Project(1999), The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Pride and Prejudice and many more have used the techniques and received positivie feedback from the audience. All the movies got their desired success rate by using the transmedia storytelling. In 1999, “The Blair Witch Project” became the first movie, which was promoted by the Transmedia storytelling. From then on, the journey of the Transmedia storytelling achieved much success in a persistent manner. Basically, the success lies in creating the activity in an innovative manner and engaging the people in a massive ramp (Roccanti and Garland 2015). Deadly but successive combination of these two makes the Transmedia storytelling a giant who can regurgitate all other promotional facts and techniques.

Pervasive nature of the Transmedia storytelling is also appreciable because it has the ability to engage global audience. In situations where the traditional method and their promotional magic became restricted the concept of the Transmedia storytelling glittered in a systematic manner. In the case study of the hunger games, the evidence is quite clear that they got 10 million likes and 850000 followers on Twitter, in youtube, the trailer of the film is still in the list of most watched video, and hunger games is the most searched term in the Google. Pervasive nature of the Transmedia storytelling is an opaque but most interesting thing is that Transmedia storytelling owns the heart of the people by providing numerous features that appeal to the audience in a greater way. The hunger games case study reveals that most impressive and effective, pervasive nature of the Transmedia storytelling is expanding the range globally and also smoothes the path ahead for the Lionsgate. Obviously, Lionsgate also acquired the path by initiating various activities such as games, video, blogging, fashion and many more (von Stackelberg and Jones 2014). The result is known to everyone, but the question remains that is this pervasive nature only for one movie? Is there any chance of building a long-term relationship? Questions arose because Transmedia storytelling is a technique where whole the story is not told, but all the activities are created to connect with the story. People have been engaged like a blind devotee or imagination in their mind to know the story, but ultimately all the fascination comes to an end after releasing the movie. Some negative responses also collected regarding this that the Transmedia storytelling makes the people fools by their glittering gesture but still the effectiveness, pervasive activity is appreciable because the statistic is so in favour of them since 1999. It cannot be avoided that if Transmedia storytelling is not pervasive, then it will not lead the market for long.


Obviously, there is no chance to put any allegations against the Transmedia storytelling in the ground of participation. Transmedia storytelling is the largest form of promotional campaign that includes the massive number of people for their movie. Gross revenue was the largest amount ever collected, and the fan following gathered by the Transmedia storytelling is historical. People participated in large numbers in all the promotional events or challenges that was created by the Lionsgate. People posted their videos and pictures of Capitol–style fashion in various websites, and it shows that the Transmedia storytelling has a control over the activities and participations of the people. The success of the film is the best evidence of the participatory nature of the Transmedia storytelling because if the Transmedia storytelling is not participatory then, it will not be able to connect this large amount of people in a single technique.     

Personalised nature of the Transmedia storytelling campaign is not very true because all the aspect of the Transmedia storytelling campaign is to provide better activity to the people to involve them in the movie. Fan’s post, blog and many other activities are appreciated by the Lionsgate. Transmedia storytelling campaign facilitates the various interesting platform in multiple channels to grab the customer in a large manner, and they are very successful in this decision. Maybe there are some questions regarding the aims and objective of the Transmedia storytelling campaign (Zeiser 2015). Many people raise their finger stating questions like- Does the campaign has only one motive to increase the fan base rather than connecting them with the real story of the movie? Is there any good relationship that has ever been made by the Transmedia storytelling campaign? Such questions may push the whole concept into a corner where Transmedia storytelling campaign can easily be called as a personalised campaign, but the success of this campaign obviously has opposite view and support the expanding and glittering nature of the Transmedia storytelling campaign.

Q3) Using any appropriate framework of analysis, critically discuss why Lionsgate focused on engaging existing fans rather than attracting new customers to the movie. Do you agree with the decision to not focus on other segments like older customers or male customers?

A) Lionsgate basically focused on the existing customer rather than the new ones. The reason behind this is simple that the hunger games have the huge response for their book series and there are very least people who are not aware of the book. This reason allows the Lionsgate to influence the men and women under the 25 years by facilitating numerous activities. Lionsgate designed all the event and activities to encourage the existing fan and allow them to talk about the movie in the social media. The main concept is that they tried to use the existing customers because existing customers were well aware of the story and the activities.  It was not possible to involve new customer for the Lionsgate because they designed all the activities according to the concept of the story. Obviously, new people will not understand the whole concept and cannot participate in the event created by the Lionsgate; it will affect their campaign. In order to gather more and more people, they used the existing customer and fans to share their videos, post, participated in their events, talk about the movie in the social sites which helps to understand the concept for the new customer (Cronin 2016). Lionsgate basically wants the existing customer to share and talk about the story on various social media platforms so that a person who is unaware of the hunger games movie or book will feel intrigued and probe into the official page to known about it. Sharing video, comments will obviously encourage the newcomer to understand the whole concept. This is a unique style of campaigning because Lionsgate did not want to waste time to catch the newcomer. However, several critics arose about this type of decision because fans did not found any platform to build a long-term relationship with the Lionsgate transmedia campaigning.

Lionsgate designed all their activity to attract the people who are under the age of 25. Basically, all the Capitol fashion designing campaign and the photo shoot are for the women, but their men fans are also large in numbers. Including brands like the Cover girl, Cinna fragrance is basically for attracting female fans and for their fashion.  This partnership basically ignores the children and men and old people, many male fans got upset because they did not find any fashion for them as well as the mother who shopped for their children (Ybarra 2017). This decision was not good for Lionsgate because ignoring the male and children can hamper their future growth or campaign if they focused only on women fashion. If they were able to include this entire male and female fan base  in their fashion and beauty activity, it would obviously create another history, but Lionsgate disappointed the male and old customer in this section.


To what extent can the transmedia storytelling approach be used for marketing non-entertainment products? What contextual factors would determine the applicability and effectiveness of this approach? 

A)  Transmedia storytelling is basically used for entertainment purposes, and the results show the range of success in this field but the question remains whether it is appropriate for the non-entertainment products, or not? The answer is obviously positive because Transmedia storytelling is the unique technique that already invades the social media in a large manner and people feel encouraged in participating in it (Sangalang, Quintero Johnson and Ciancio 2013). Other non-entertainment products can also be successful if they use this technique and there is an evidence of it. In 2005 Audi A3 “Art of Heist” facilitated a campaign about the stolen car and they involved many people in this interesting investigation by designing several events. People participated in a huge manner, posted stories about the stolen car, and many more activities were taken into this Transmedia storytelling campaign. It is quite clear that non-entertainment products can also get the benefit by using the Transmedia storytelling. Now the matter is about the retail market or any other industry regarding the use of the Transmedia storytelling. In other industry, they can also get the facility because Transmedia storytelling uses every social media platform to connect the people. Other industry can also apply this technique in promoting their products by using the social media where people can comment and express their opinions regarding the product or the service (Weedon and Knight 2015). They can also incorporate with the various events like video building, blog writing and many more. The fashion industry has a huge scope of using the Transmedia storytelling because they can connect or involve people by facilitating the fashion products by developing photo shoot and many more. Cosmetics industry also has the scope of using the Transmedia storytelling. Transmedia storytelling has the ability to invade the customer in an effective manner, and there is evidence that such campaign already got the success that is for Audi A3. Non-entertainment products can be placed on the Facebook, YouTube and much more with several interesting programs that can attract people in a systematic manner (Bessi et al. 2016). The facilities Transmedia storytelling provided are listed below:

  • Broad social media involvement
  • Establishing good relationship and involvement with the people.
  • Conduct various event
  • Global approach
  • Good success report

All these facilities are important in promoting any products, and Transmedia storytelling provides all within a single platform. An interesting fact is that involvement of the people in a positive way where people can feel that they are also a part of the promotion and products (Boone and Kurtz 2013). Like hunger games, the non-entertainment product will also get success if they use this technique in a positive manner. Audi A3 got the massive response and proved the effectiveness and acceptability, and it is obvious that penetrating power of the Transmedia storytelling allure the other industry in a large manner. HBO channel’s popular show “Game of Thrones” also got the positive response by using the Transmedia storytelling. The approach of the Transmedia storytelling is effective and most important fact is that existing customer will share the information. There is no special approach needed to attract the newcomer as the social media, and existing customer will do it for the company.

Conclusion:

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that stepping into the social media by ignoring the conventional promotion method partially is the great step for the Lionsgate. Transmedia storytelling is the main process, which is used in the promotion of the Hunger game. Numerous social media sites are also incorporated into this activity and many other activities like blogging, posting a photo, preparing Capitol fashion are taken to promote the film.  It also can be concluded that Transmedia storytelling has the persistent and pervasive nature which make it more specific and attractive as well as successful. But still, there are some flaws like not including the men and old person in the fashion contest which reacted diversely for the Transmedia storytelling campaign. The opportunity of the non-entertainment product promotion by using the Transmedia storytelling is also described in this paper.

References:

Armstrong, G., Kotler, P., Harker, M. and Brennan, R., 2015. Marketing: an introduction. Pearson Education.

Bessi, A., Zollo, F., Del Vicario, M., Puliga, M., Scala, A., Caldarelli, G., Uzzi, B. and Quattrociocchi, W., 2016. Users polarization on Facebook and Youtube. PloS one, 11(8), p.e0159641.

Boone, L.E. and Kurtz, D.L., 2013. Contemporary marketing. Cengage learning.

Boxofficemojo.com. (2018). The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) - Box Office Mojo. [online] Available at: https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=catchingfire.htm [Accessed 10 Mar. 2018].

Cronin, J., 2016. Teach students to communicate a brand story with transmedia storytelling. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 10(2), pp.86-101.

Kotler, P., Kartajaya, H. and Setiawan, I., 2016. Marketing 4.0: Moving from traditional to digital. John Wiley & Sons.

Miles, R., Cason, A., Chan, L., Li, J., McDonnell, R., Murray, J. and Wang, Z., 2016, June. GameBridge: Converging Toward a Transmedia Storytelling Experience through Gameplay. In Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Interactive Experiences for TV and Online Video (pp. 105-111). ACM.

Roccanti, R. and Garland, K., 2015. 21st century narratives: Using transmedia storytelling in the language arts classroom. SIGNAL, 37(1), pp.16-20.

Ryan, M.L., 2015. Transmedia Storytelling: Industry Buzzword or New Narrative Experience?. Storyworlds: A Journal of Narrative Studies, 7(2), pp.1-19.

Sangalang, A., Quintero Johnson, J.M. and Ciancio, K.E., 2013. Exploring audience involvement with an interactive narrative: Implications for incorporating transmedia storytelling into entertainment-education campaigns. Critical Arts, 27(1), pp.127-146.

Tuten, T.L. and Solomon, M.R., 2017. Social media marketing. Sage.

Voigts, E. and Nicklas, P., 2013. Introduction: Adaptation, Transmedia Storytelling and Participatory Culture. Adaptation, 6(2), pp.139-142.

von Stackelberg, P. and Jones, R.E., 2014. Tales of our tomorrows: Transmedia storytelling and communicating about the future. Journal of Futures Studies, 18(3), pp.57-76.

Weedon, A. and Knight, J., 2015. Media literacy and transmedia storytelling.

Ybarra, S., 2017. Transmedia Storytelling: Social Media Keeping the Story Alive.

Zeiser, A., 2015. Transmedia marketing: From film and TV to games and digital media. CRC Press.

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