The Marketing Games

The Marketing Games

The Hunger Games saga, now with its second installment Catching Fire in theaters, is the gripping story of a dystopian society where innocent children are forced to fight to their death for entertainment. But that doesn’t seem to be our media’s main focus. Every tabloid review and internet blurb on the new movie seems to be about the “love triangle” between the story’s heroine Katniss and her two male friends. For any true fans, however, the irony of this is jaw dropping.

In The Hunger Games, the privileged citizens of a city known as the Capitol watch teens fight for their lives every year on television, but only focus on the trivial back stories of the Tributes, their love lives, and their fashion choices leading up to the actual fight. Whatever designer a winning Tribute wears will be showered in popularity. An iconic part of the opening ceremonies of the Hunger Games is the introduction of the Tributes, where they ride into the Capitol on chariots, wearing infamously tacky costumes based on the industries of their districts.

Now consider the new “Hunger Games” line of makeup from Covergirl, featuring makeup sets themed on, wait for it–the home districts of various popular characters. Or the current sweepstakes at Subway, where you can “win your own Victory Tour.” Surely the title of the series alone should be enough to tip off Subway that they are missing a major point.

Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games, was not exactly subtle in her allusions to our current day media. The entire scenario of a giant competition being broadcasted on TV is one you can find on dozens of channels. While our reality shows don’t have actual deaths occurring live, they do dish out plenty of life-shattering humiliation. The Hunger Games is a cautionary tale, and we can only hope it is never actually imitated. So keep an eye on this trend of Capitol-like fads, and be socially conscious enough to recognize that for some, hunger is not a game.

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