The massive marketing run-up for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 continues in a big way this week as Lionsgate and Google roll out videos set in Panem, the Hunger Games world, created by five teams of noted Youtube video creators.
District Voices will feature creators such as iJustine’s Justine Ezarik chosen in part because their video work normally is focused in an industry associated with a specific Panem district. The videos will run on YouTube and the online site Capitol TV, as putatively government-sanctioned programming on the official television station of Panem.
The partnership is just the latest in a series of such film deals between studios and Google’s YouTube unit, especially through the YouTube Space LA facility in the Playa Vista area. Previous projects involved matching creators with actual or recreated/”inspired by” sets from Godzilla, the original Star Wars and Guillermo del Toro’s latest horror film, Crimson Peak.
The five episodes will roll out one each afternoon this week, beginning at 1 pm today with one from Rob Czar & Corinne Leigh of the Threadbanger YouTube channel. Other videos coming this week were created by Shane Fazen of fightTIPS, Derek Muller of Veritasium, Jimmy Wong & Ashley Adams of Feast of Fiction, and Justine Ezarik of iJustine.
The partnerships, through Google’s Art Copy & Code program, give the online giant a way to connect its top online creators and their audiences with established brands in ways that give them some glitzy and unusual programming opportunities. For studios, the videos are typically heavily viewed by fans of both the chosen creators and the film project, reaching young audiences that have otherwise often been difficult to connect with through traditional marketing. Google is locked these days in a stout fight with Facebook over whose video content is most compelling for fans and advertisers.
Mockingjay Part 1 debuts Nov. 21 and stars Jennifer Lawrence. The first two installments of the series based on Suzanne Collins’ hit young-adult trilogy grossed a combined $1.5 billion worldwide.
Here’s the trailer for the District Voices series: