Sunday, April 15, 2012

NEXT UP: Hunger Games in the Media

You would have to be living under a rock or in District 13 (doesn't exist...heh...) to have not heard about The Hunger Games. After being a bestselling trilogy, the first book has been made into a box office blockbuster.

I have read the first book and seen the movie, but this post is not a review of either. Instead, I wanted to point out just how this hit boovie (Book + movie! Okay fine, never again.) has became a popular cultural concept and media trademark.

The story is no longer confined to the pages of a book or the big screen. In fact, it has inspired themed weddings, Barbie dolls, and even increased sales of archery equipment.

Katniss Barbie doll (Source) 

When perusing my NYTimes.com homepage, I noticed Hunger Games mentioned three times in front page headlines. The shout-outs were not just limited to the entertainment section, either. In addition to the expected "'Hunger Games' Wins Box Office Again" article, there was "Bridal Hunger Games: Losing Weight in Time for the Wedding" in the health section and "'Hunger Games' Parenting" in the opinion section.


I became curious about whether other news sites mentioned "Hunger Games" in their headlines. I checked out the top 15 most popular news websites (determined here) to see how many times "Hunger Games" was mentioned on a homepage headline and came up with the following results:


Two thirds of the websites had at least one headline mentioning "Hunger Games." Not bad for a concept that was originally shrugged off as just another children's story.

So is this popularity excessive? Has The Hunger Games received more media attention than it deserves? As a public relations major, I think it's great that the story has gotten so much coverage. Reporters are turning the title into a mainstream phrase and creating witty analogies for it across a variety of topics. It seems these mentions are not directly the work of a publicist's efforts. Rather, the story has generated its own PR in a way. That is often a publicist's dream.

What do you think? Are you tired of hearing about The Hunger Games?

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