Movie studio Lionsgate has released the next step in their marketing campaign for the young adult blockbuster The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 with a new phone app called Our Leader the Mockingjay. The app, which allows users to snap photographs and create “digital marks” with rebellious graffiti to spread word of the Mockingjay, is available in both the Apple Store and Google Play.
Note: This article contains spoilers for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Buildup for the release of the app began several days ago, when Hunger Games fansites began to receive mysterious images stamped with the mockingjay symbol and the words “Our Leader the Mockingjay.” More images began to surface as fans who received these mysterious images distributed them across social media channels. The sender of the images was simply labeled “OLTM,” and the email address was tied to the newly released District 13 website at District13.co.in.
In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, District 13 is the last district in Panem to have rebelled against the Capitol. According to public knowledge, at the end of the war, District 13 was nuked into oblivion and The Hunger Games began. In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Katniss Everdeen is rescued from the Arena and wakes up en route to District 13, which is now the home to the rebels.
Lionsgate began their marketing campaign over the summer by establishing a Capitol presence with two short teasers from “Capitol TV” that featured President Snow, Peeta Mellark, and Johanna Mason. The second teaser, Unity, was interrupted by the rebels of District 13. Last month, Lionsgate began launching the District 13 component of the campaign with a District 13 website and six District Citizen posters, including one of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays Plutarch Heavensbee, former Head Gamemaker for the Hunger Games.
The app is not without controversy. The main feature, which allows users to create digital marks of their own photographs, will by default geo-tag any images and place the image on a satellite map, allowing users of the app to pinpoint the location where the “mark” was created. While this is a great way to get users to spread word of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay by having hundreds of images floating around on social media, users initially took photos of their homes, only to find their homes now marked and connected to photos.
Fortunately, the Mockingjay app does allow you to turn geo-tagging off, but it is set to tag locations by default and there is currently no way to delete images with location tags.
What do you think about the Mockingjay marketing campaign so far?
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 will hit theaters on November 21, 2014.