Capitol Couture is a high-end online magazine for the most sophisticated and fashion-forward members of Panem's Capitol.
It's a narrow target audience, considering Panem only exists in Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy. It may be the first publication dedicated fully to covering a fictional society (unless you have another for me? Comments. Link me, people.)
And I may not be a citizen of the Capitol, but I can't get over it.
The creators, promoters of the series' second film Catching Fire, have immersed themselves in the world. The team never bothers to explain what they're doing, and they don't apologize for it.
They know that true fans of the series will get it. The rest of you? Well, you don't need to get it. And therein lies the fun--it doesn't just show you the Hunger Games world, it makes you part of it. As a fantasy writer, I get a real thrill from that.
As a marketing professional, this is my dream project. I have to take us out of the enjoyment of this campaign for a moment to talk about the marketing back end, because that's where the real genius took place. And not just about working for Hollywood, or for something that's hot right now, or even for one of my favorite stories.
It takes an open-minded and trusting client to allow this kind of out-of-the-box outreach. Most want you to stick to more straightforward tactics. To get a client to run through the looking glass with you like this is a creative's dream.
And to their credit, the team has really run with the concept and made it all it can be. The true brilliance of it is that the publication blurs the line between fiction and reality.
In addition to the publication, which is released quarterly, the campaign is also posting real advertisements for Capitol products, like a perfume created by Cinna.
It's also partnering with brands from both the Capitol and the real world for creative features. Take, for example, this District 12-themed look from Cover Girl--part of a series featuring looks from all the districts to get you ready for the Hunger Games.
And the blurred-lines tactic is perfect, since the blurring of reality and fiction is a theme in the books--after all, the entire concept of the Hunger Games is a reality show gone awfully wrong. And the publication, eerily similar to real fashion magazines like Elle, emphasizes the similarities between the Capitol and upper/upper-middle class America.
Even better, the campaign is utilizing up-and-coming designers to create the latest Capitol fashions. As a creative, I love to see a major mainstream project lift up this indie spirit.
And as if that wasn't enough to love, Capitol Couture is full of striking, captivating images--it's just way too much fun to look at.
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