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T-10 analysis: The Hunger Games, a social phenomenon
The T-10 team looked back at 2012 to chart the progress of The Hunger Games, the standout social performer of 2012, which clearly demonstrates the benefits a sophisticated and co-ordinated social campaign can bring.
Countless articles have documented the impressive Lionsgate campaign for The Hunger Games. The studio built a multi-platform program of activities, from poster puzzles on Twitter and a multitude of Facebook properties covering each of the different districts, to a highly customised YouTube channel. This served to create a truly integrated and interactive experience which was at the heart of the Hunger Games’ success and propelled it to the biggest domestic midnight gross for a non-sequel movie in history.
T-10 previously discussed the importance of consistency for a social campaign. Looking at the performance of The Hunger Games demonstrates this powerfully. Building out from its core base of fans, Lionsgate drove consistent increases in intent to view on Twitter; around a 50% increase week on week. Then in the final week intent spiked dramatically, dwarfing other films of 2012 and almost doubling the total amount from the previous nine weeks combined. This helped it to a highly successful opening weekend domestically, grossing only a fraction lower than The Dark Knight Rises.
The Hunger Games builds consistently on consumers’ intent to view from a strong early base to dwarf other titles in terms of social traction:
- The Hunger Games integrated campaign meant that the film was well ahead of any other title in 2012 even at T-7: The Hunger Games and The Dark Knight Rises were two of the strongest social performers of the year, but the former’s elaborate social focus meant that even at an early stage it was ideally positioned to challenge The Dark Knight Rises
- Between T-5 and T-0 The Hunger Games converted this early interest and built intent dramatically week on week: The well organised and highly interactive campaign meant intent to view kept on rising at a rapid pace before climbing by 80% in the week of its release
The success of the Twitter campaign was mirrored in its Facebook growth:
- In the ten weeks pre-release the Facebook community doubled: As well as driving intent on Twitter, The Hunger Games was able to also quickly expand its core fan base, by posting exclusive content, getting people to share it and creating activities like a meme generator