YouTube Stars Plunge Into The Hunger Games’ Fictional Universe to Market Latest Film

Google and Lionsgate blur fact and fiction

Google and Lionsgate have teamed up for an innovative marketing campaign to promote The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1. Using YouTube Space LA and Google's Art, Copy & Code project—which aims to help brands reach the 18- to 34-year-old demographic—the District Voices campaign debuts today.

District Voices is a five-episode YouTube series presented as programming from Capitol TV, the fictional government-run station in The Hunger Games universe of Panem. Lionsgate plucked some of YouTube's top personalities for the series, matching channel content with the characteristics of various Panem districts. The movie opens in theaters Nov. 21.

"Our mission has always been to engage our Hunger Games fans in the most innovative and authentic ways possible," said Lionsgate's evp of digital marketing Danielle De Palma in a statement. "We cannot think of a better partner than these incredible YouTube stars, who truly bring new content to life in the world of Panem and extend our storytelling to online audiences in exciting new directions."

The Hunger Games franchise has already topped $1.5 billion at the box office. The YouTube collaborators involved in the campaign have a combined audience of more than 4.9 million subscribers, and they have racked up more than 550 million video views. Google noted that globally, people are watching in excess of 9 billion hours of video on YouTube monthly. Google's Art, Copy & Code program looks for innovative ways to connect with that audience and capitalize on the market.

"YouTube is the best place to build a fan base," said Ben Malbon, director of creative partnerships at Google. "This collaboration with Lionsgate showcases how brands can harness the power of Google and YouTube to reach their core audience when they are engaging with the content they are most passionate about and where they are spending the majority of their time."

The full list of videos, creators and release dates are:

  • District 8: Rob Czar and Corinne Leigh from the Threadbanger YouTube channel will show how to best make use of excess Peacekeeper armor. It debuts today.
  • District 2: Shane Fazen, of the 'fightTIPS' YouTube channel, will showcase the training and techniques required to be a Peacekeeper in Panem, beginning Tuesday.
  • District 5: Derek Muller, from the YouTube channel Veritasium, demonstrates new ways in which the Capitol may generate its electricity in the future, starting Wednesday.
  • District 9: Jimmy Wong and Ashley Adams, best known for their Feast of Fiction YouTube channel, demonstrate baking techniques from Panem’s Grain District. It will go live on Thursday.
  • District 6: IJustine’s Justine Ezarik will end the series with a glimpse at the driving force that proudly supports the transportation needs of Panem’s vaunted Peacekeepers, debuting on Friday.