This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Hunger Games: Use the Hype to Market Your Business

Stocks in this article: LGF SCHL CLUB

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- If you're not using Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch or Effie in your business marketing strategy -- or worse, if you don't know who these people are -- you're missing a powerful opportunity to gain customers by capitalizing on The Hunger Games, a hugely popular pop culture trend reaching far beyond its original market of young adults.

Today's release of a movie based on books by Suzanne Collins has fans worldwide in a frenzy about the world of Panem, the dystopian version of North America in which the characters live. Following in the footsteps of the Twilight saga, the popularity of the YA reading material has extended its reach far beyond its initial demographic, reaping rewards for Scholastic (SCHL), the publisher of the book series, as well as Lionsgate (LGF), the studio that brought The Hunger Games to life. Both stocks hit 52-week highs within the past week as pre-sale tickets set records.

The Hunger Games, based on books by Suzanne Collins, arrives in theaters today.

A host of other large companies are also reaping the rewards of The Hunger Games, so why shouldn't small businesses also profit? And, with a phenomenon so big, it doesn't have to be limited to the obvious booksellers or T-shirt retailers. Even companies that don't have a direct connection can profit if done correctly.

"Typically small businesses have ridden these waves with merchandise, and if that is your product line you need to get those products on the shelf rapidly and promote their arrival via the channels you use for all of your marketing," says John Nolan, an adjunct professor of marketing at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management.

But there are other ways to leverage The Hunger Games, even if a company does not have products related directly to the movie. "A business can attempt a news-jacking strategy, create products with names inspired by the film or create unofficial products to cannibalize the success of the film," Nolan says.

Nolan points to nail polish company China Glaze, which created a line of polishes with colors inspired by the movie. Nearly a dozen fashion designers created their own variations of a dress worn by heroine Katniss, Nolan says. There's also The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook, which serves up recipes to some of Katniss and Peeta's favorite dishes.

Whatever a business decides to do, they should incorporate several marketing strategies at once to maximize exposure, cross promoting the efforts through Web site, social media, sales calls, press releases and marketing literature. "All of these methods are for a business to gain publicity and sales by capitalizing upon a current popular trend," Nolan says.

Of course, The Hunger Games is simply an example. Whether it's Linsanity, Tim Tebow or The Walking Dead, harnessing pop culture can be a great way to add traction to your business with proper marketing.

Here are three examples of businesses using The Hunger Games in their marketing strategies:

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,778.15 +421.28 2.43%
S&P 500 2,061.23 +48.34 2.40%
NASDAQ 4,748.3960 +104.0840 2.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs