Forgive me the morning ‘grin and giggle’ here, but I had to chuckle at the Reuters report that ‘“Hunger Games” success spells trouble for TV ads.’ What’s so funny?
The books in the Panem Saga have teevee programming right in their target sites. Television is a means of the power holders and their Gamesmakers to bend and shape the thinking and will of the Capitol’s citizens and the enslaved Districts. If anything, the attacks are over-the-top in portraying the hijacking quality of screened images; no one, it seems, has the ability to resist the ‘Propos’ produced by either side so control of the air waves becomes the means to victory almost as much as armed conflict in the Mockingjay Rebellion,
The first movie, however, largely hijacked the hijacking, anti-teevee message of the books, which, sadly, had to be expected when the Gamesmakers are asked to make a film about the evils of Gamesmakers. Even many serious readers of the books have been hijacked by the movie’s counter-narrative message that it is government, not movie/teevee makers, that are the wrong-doers (in the cinematic Catching Fire look for Plutarch Heavensbee joining the rebels in order to revenge the martyr Seneca Crane…), which, sadly, only makes the author’s point about the dangers of the medium.
Now we learn that the movie’s novel means of promoting itself = through fandom online promotions and word of mouth buzz rather than through saturation television advertising — may strike a real financial blow to the industry that even the books’ satirical acid couldn’t have hoped to work.
You see, the Teevee Beast lives on revenues from commercials, and, especially in the summer when outdoor activities lower television watching, in large part on movie advertisements for the blockbuster films aimed at children not in school.
If studios are attentive to their bottom lines (which they absolutely are in insisting on Return On Investment in marketing money, if not so much in making movies people want to see), this could starve the Beast and speed the decline of larger broadcast media versus online entertainment. Again, forgive me for finding it funny that the movie, which hijacked the anti-television message of the novels, could be the delivery system for a sword thrust into the Teevee Monster’s vitals.
Your comments and corrections, as always, are coveted. Hat tip, RevGeorge!