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Why is The Hunger Games Not So Hot Abroad?

posted April 6th, 2012 & filed under marketing/advertising, Serious Stuff, social networking

With the amount of publicity The Hunger Games has been getting in the US and its record breaking box office numbers, I was naturally curious to see if it was getting the same reaction across the world.  Even though I haven’t seen the movie, Rolling Stone and other respected publications have been giving it extremely good reviews. The Hunger Games also had a huge marketing push localizing its content across different regions including

1) Region specific Facebook pages and a Facebook game

http://www.facebook.com/thehungergamesmovie/app_234281223336412

2) Region specific Twitter accounts

3) Region specific Tumblr pages

http://hungergamessingapore.tumblr.com/

http://hungergamesphils.tumblr.com/

http://hungergamesthai.tumblr.com/

On the other hand, the new blockbuster Wrath of the Titans doesn’t have a Twitter account, and only utilized region specific Facebook pages and a Facebook game, which actually ended up being a pretty smart move considering the Facebook adoption has been much more successful abroad than the Twitter campaigns.  Beyond the box office totals that show how much more weight Wrath of the Titans has overseas, the Google Search Volume Index numbers were also much stronger last week vs The Hunger Games in regions like Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, India, Greece, Thailand, and Romania.

So why did The Hunger Games flop abroad when they clearly had a stronger and more viral marketing campaign than Wrath of Titans?

Could it have been the cast? I’ve read numerous blogs that were dissatisfied with the lack of ethnic casting and the fact there were no Asians or Latinos in significant roles.  Maybe it was the storyline? Many blogs were critical that the plot of The Hunger Games was a little too similar to the 2000 Japanese cult favorite film Battle Royale, where a former high school teacher at the behest of the Japanese government kidnaps his former ninth grade class and forces them to kill each other on a remote island until only one is left standing.  Oddly enough the Wrath of the Titans storyline is nowhere as sophisticated and has received overwhelmingly horrible reviews.  Let’s face it – the world loves American films for their action packed special effects, and maybe not so much for our derivative storylines.

There’s also the fact that very often a film as distinctive as The Hunger Games doesn’t always correspond well on a cultural level in other countries.  There are tons of films that are blockbusters in the region they’re conceived in but when they come to the states it’s hard for them to match that success, and frequently they’ll even do poorly outside of their own country.

So much of what makes The Hunger Games a hit in America might actually be the same thing that’s inhibiting its success across the pond.  A lot of the plot deals with a futuristic, post-apocalyptic version of North America in the context of a reality show satire that might be hard for foreign markets to fully immerse themselves in without a prior understanding of current American entertainment and political culture.

It’s also based on a series of novels that been criticized for their simplistic writing style that are teen-centric in their focus and reference points.  It might be possible too that the foreign mainstream markets have a different palette that this film underwhelms.  Certain regions might not have the best grasp of the English language, so some intricacies of the storyline that are lost in translation could potentially make for a less enjoyable film.  It’s hard enough predicting a successful film in one country, and being able to create something with equal popularity around the globe becomes another feat entirely.

Resources:

Global Box Office numbers

http://boxofficemojo.com/intl/

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/foreign-box-office-hunger-games-wrath-titans-dr-seuss-lorax-306653

Hunger Games Promotional Pages

http://www.thehungergamesmovie.com/

http://www.facebook.com/thehungergamesmovie/app_234281223336412

https://twitter.com/#!/TheHungerGames

https://twitter.com/#!/HungerGamesUK

http://hungergamessingapore.tumblr.com/

http://hungergamesphils.tumblr.com/

http://hungergamesthai.tumblr.com/

Wrath of the Titans Promotional Pages

http://wrathofthetitans.warnerbros.com/index.html

http://apps.facebook.com/wottgame/

Facebook Stores: Your Very Own Social Media Pop-Up Shop

posted October 18th, 2011 & filed under entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship, marketing/advertising, Serious Stuff, social networking, technology

For a lot of small companies figuring out different ways to get their product out there can become a challenge.  I always recommend that start-up brands and even more established companies should have their own Facebook Store.

Why Facebook retail? Because the statistics are so strong in your favor.  Facebook users spend an average of a half hour DAILY on Facebook. That’s more than any other website, and even more then some other social media platforms combined.  It only makes sense to have your product accessible from where your potential customers spend most of their time.

You could even consider a Facebook store as your very own pop-up shop. It’ll becomes just another outlet to get people aware of your brand and eventually to buy your product.  Another thing to keep in mind is that people are more likely to click on a Facebook link than on an outside link, and a Facebook store gives them the ease of being able to shop right from where they spend most of their time online.

Here are some great apps you can use for you template Facebook Store:

STOREFRONT: http://storefrontsocial.com;

http://www.facebook.com/ShopTabApp

SAM / Social Application Marketing;

http://www.wildfireapp.com/

http://www.snapengage.com/

The Last Advertising Agency On Earth

posted March 23rd, 2010 & filed under marketing/advertising, Serious Stuff

A short film about what the future of advertising might look like.

Body as billboard

posted February 20th, 2009 & filed under marketing/advertising

This summer, I developed a project in which 6 models were ready to get branded from head to toe, see here. So it was much to my surprise, when I read this articleabout a group of New Zealanders who shaved their heads to write on their head a New Zealand airline slogan. Maybe I should go to New Zealand re-pitch my concept. Ha!18adco-pic550