Fans of The Hunger Games films were given the chance to unlock a deleted scene from Mockingjay – Part 1 on Monday in a new campaign for its DVD release.
Lionsgate, the film company behind The Hunger Games, teamed up with ad serving company Sizmek to execute the task on social media.
Fans were greeted with a message from The Capitol’s President Snow, the controlling city in the franchise series.
Upon clicking on the link, the message is hijacked and a whole bunch of binary code pops up.
Users have to unleash their inner geeks and decode the binary code. The hashtag #UnlockMockingjay soon erupted over Twitter as fans clawed their way through the campaign to reach the deleted scene.
It was a tricky campaign to execute, Carolyn Bollaci, regional vice president of Sizmek, told B&T.
“We worked with Lionsgate to bring this to life. It was very complex in terms of the mechanics around the execution,” she said. “There was a lot of interaction by the user to get to the point when you finally get to see that deleted scene. It falls into that fanatic box, and people want to feel engaged and stimulated by media and by the experiences they’re having.”
Actually asking users to partake in advertising campaigns as the only option was risky, though. Lionsgate really had to rely on the passion of the fans to commit to decoding binary.
“You’ve got to be willing and committed to find the scene, but you’ve got to try it,” said Bollaci. However, the scene has ended up on Tumblr, free for viewing pleasure.
These types of campaigns aren’t so common ground. With the surge in programmatic, Bollaci says much of the budget that used to be spent on more interactive campaigns has moved over to programmatic.
“What we’re seeing right now, with programmatic being so part of the media buying, these cool, awesome executions aren’t happening anymore and I feel like people need to get back into this,” said Bollaci. “This is what makes advertising exciting, creating emotional experiences with your audience.
“Previously it was a very limited file size, quite a small spec and people took a lot of the big, fancy executions they were doing and put that inventory into the programmatic channel which really limited creativity,” she said, adding advancement are being made in the hopes of a programmatic rich media experiences actually becoming a thing.
“Quite often, advertising experiences are one dimensional, but this campaign really took it to another level. We want more big brands to do more things like this.”
The brands that would do well with campaigns like this are those in the FMCG category, said Bollaci.
“Those advertisers often find it hard to bring that content to different types of audiences, such as the youth audiences. If there’s people that want to talk about their brand or release, these are good forms to do that because it creates that social awareness and chatter.”