Propaganda in The Hunger Games is a piece in the supporting foundation of the capitol’s oppression on the districts. Having complete control of all the media that is devoured by the capitol citizens, they are able to project the perfect image of the districts: sad, helpless people that would collapse the minute the capitol turned their backs. Even in the propaganda video presented at the beginning of each reaping, the plight of the districts is portrayed as self-inflicted, as they are the ones that rebelled against the capitol during the “peace”. Casting this identity on the districts allows the capitol residents to internally rationalize the conditions of the districts. With the way that they see the system, the capitol is helping the districts, not oppressing them. They are “given work” by forcing their children into the workforce at a young age, they are “protected” through the sacrifice of their children to the annual Hunger Games.
The opposite scenario, however, seems to have a much weaker affect across the districts. They are still receiving capitol propaganda, but the culture of the districts continues, and the history as not told by the victors is still passed on. The portrayal of the capitol as the beneficent government to the districts is much less effective. However, convinced of the Capitols benevolence or not, the districts are fully aware of the most important message: the capitol is to be feared, and the capitol is to be obeyed. Fear is a weak, but wide spread emotion. This is evident through the capitol’s ability to sustain this tactic for 74 years. But, fear can be habituated and overcome in order to fight the oppressors.
In marketing The Hunger Games for real world consumers, propaganda and advertising is used in a much more positive light. Of course we have a choice (more of a selection) of what we are viewing from the media, so the message that marketers want to share has to actually be appealing. Ads for The Hunger Games capitalize on our love for action and thrill, without it being real. This is exactly what The Hunger Games offers, in pixel or text. Also, the media’s ability to craft an even bigger world around the one that Collins has already created makes The Hunger Games an even bigger deal. For example, this fan created short film is an example of the widespread excitement for the release of The Hunger Games. In addition to fan created media, professional Ads and art are released aimed at marketing the movie, such as the posters below. They are simple and aesthetically pleasing, but rich enough for consumers to discuss and form opinions on, creating more anticipation and demand for The Hunger Games brand.