By Sahil Patel
Lionsgate is teaming with Google and YouTube to promote the upcoming release of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1,” the third film in the studio’s blockbuster franchise based on Suzanne Collins’ young-adult trilogy.
As part of Google’s Art, Copy & Code branded content lab, the two companies have created “District Voices,” a five-episode series starring some of the biggest names on YouTube. In each video, a YouTube star assumes the role of a citizen of one of the districts of Panem, the fictional setting of the books and movies.
Each creator was selected because his or her channel content aligns with a specific industry from one of the districts of Panem, the companies said.
The five YouTube stars contracted for the campaign include Rob Czar and Corinne Leigh of the Threadbanger YouTube channel, Shane Fazen of FightTips, Derek Muller of Veritasium, Jimmy Wong and Ashley Adams of “Feast of Fiction,” and Justine Ezarik (iJustine). Combined, the stars reach more than 4.9 million subscribers on YouTube.
“District Voices” was developed by Lionsgate and Google with the YouTube Space LA team, and filmed on location there as well as in and around Los Angeles. The goal of the series is to provide an expanded view of the world of “The Hunger Games,” as well as deliver original content for fans of the films and the creators — which likely overlap.
Google’s Art, Copy & Code is a series of projects that “explore new ways for brands to connect with consumers” through Google platforms, the company said. “YouTube is the best place to build a fanbase,” said Google’s director of creative partnerships Ben Malbon. “This collaboration with Lionsgate showcases how brands can harness the power of Google and YouTube to reach their core audience when they are engaging with the content they are most passionate about and where they are spending the majority of their time.”
To date, The Hunger Games franchise has netted more than $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office. “Mockingjay — Part 1” will open everywhere on November 21.
For more information on “District Voices,” a series trailer as well as the content of each creator’s episode is included below:
Monday, October 20 — District 8: Rob Czar & Corinne Leigh, co-helmers of the ‘Threadbanger’ YouTube channel, show how to best make use of excess Peacekeeper armor.
Tuesday, October 21 — District 2: Shane Fazen, of the ‘fightTIPS’ YouTube channel, showcases the training and techniques required to be a Peacekeeper in Panem.
Wednesday, October 22 — District 5: Derek Muller, known for the mind-blowing experiments and scientific discussions on his YouTube channel ‘Veritasium’, demonstrates new ways in which the Capitol may generate its electricity in the future.
Thursday, October 23 — District 9: Jimmy Wong & Ashley Adams, best known for their ‘Feast of Fiction’ YouTube channel, demonstrate baking techniques from Panem’s Grain District.
Friday, October 24 — District 6: iJustine’s Justine Ezarik, gives a glimpse at the driving force that proudly supports the transportation needs of Panem’s vaunted Peacekeepers.