Wednesday, 26 June 2013

YA genre marketing and fan engagement

Over the past couple of years, I've really embraced the YA fiction genre - possibly more so than when I was actually the target audience. Dystopian fiction in particular has really captured my imagination, but, more importantly, has also caught the attention of Hollywood. Most prominent at the moment has to be The Hunger Games franchise, with the second film in the trilogy set for release in November of this year. One of the great things about this kind of genre, is that it really opens up the opportunities to its target audience, allowing them to interact within this new world. As we have seen in the past with the Harry Potter franchise institution, readers can get fully involved, from connecting with fellow fans through role play (eg 'what house are you?'), fanfiction and fan art at one end of the spectrum, through to truly immersing yourself in the culture of the story, such as the theme park, the studio tour and various tours and exhibitions that have sprung up in the past couple of years.

Back to The Hunger Games, we can see the same thing happening, particularly embracing social media as part of the film's promotion.  One of the best things about movies based on adaptations of existing novels is that they already have that initial fan base, so they can really embrace the story from the offset, and especially so with YA dystopian because there are often very distinctive themes and characters involved, such as the different districts in The Hunger Games.

The main example of The Hunger Games social media promotion, is the introduction of the District Identification Pass (DIP). By logging onto Facebook or Twitter via the Capitol Network, the user will be registered as a citizen of 'Panem' and assigned an district, citizen number and occupation.  The user is then encouraged to join said district on the official HG Facebook page.  There is an elected mayor for each district, but, even more importantly, there are journalists, who provide Hunger Games news and sneak peeks at exclusive content.  This type of social media activity not only actively promotes the film, but really gives the fans a sense of community and enables them to really engage with the franchise.  

That said, there's a few films currently in development that I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for come the months leading up to release date...


Another dystopian fic, this time where society is divided into factions based on personality traits - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent) and Dauntless (the brave). There is also a group of people known as Divergent (BUT WE DON'T TALK ABOUT THAT). Oh, and Factionless (again, less said about them the better). 

I'm really looking forward to how the promotion of this film embraces the different factions and allows fans to choose who they want to be.

The Night Circus

We don't have much information to go on with this film because so far it has only been optioned, but it was optioned by Heyday Films so we KNOW it's in safe hands. 

The film centres around the build-up to a duel between two young magicians against the backdrop of the black-and-white striped canvas tent of The Night Circus which appears out of warning in the night.... Just imagine how beautiful this will be! I can't wait to see stills and concept artwork and when there's magic and circus performance involved, the marketing possibilities for this are almost endless.

Watch this space!