With nearly every brand in the galaxy jumping on the Star Wars bandwagon, it is easy to forget that another big movie release -- and marketing opportunity -- is arriving soon with the Nov. 20 debut of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2."
But starting Sunday, Katniss Everdeen and crew will start to get some brand love from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The automaker will begin running four Hunger Games-themed TV ads during NFL games as part of a co-branded partnership with Lionsgate.
Two spots for Dodge -- called "Whistle" (above) and "Playing with Fire" -- will "point to the rebellious spirits of Katniss," according to the automaker. Another ad for Ram is called "Official Truck of Heroes." Finally, a spot for Chrysler called "Where You're Going" (below) will play off the story of Katniss overcoming odds amid changes, the company stated.
The ads are by Testa and Partners, a Los Angeles-based advertising agency formed as a joint venture between Armando Testa of Italy and L.A.-based Trailer Park, which is an entertainment and content marketing agency. Armando Testa has done work for FCA's Fiat brand.
Olivier Francois, chief marketing officer for FCA Global, in a statement sought to position the campaign as a departure from the so-called "Tier 2" ads that automakers typically run at the end of the year. Those ads normally plug into the rational part of the buying process, or what Mr. Francois described as the "why buys." That approach, he said, "is almost never relevant and rarely branded."
"Our collaboration with 'The Hunger Games' and Lionsgate is a great example of what can be done that's unexpected," he stated. "The association with such an anticipated and popular movie provides an exceptional relevance to our message. And the values shared with our three brands -- the 'rebellious' Dodge, the 'hard working' Ram and the resilience of Chrysler -- bring the branding element."
And by the time the Hunger Games becomes old news in December, FCA appears poised to join the Star Wars bandwagon. The automaker is among seven brands that Lucasfilm announced in August as partners for an "expensive, historic promotional campaign" supporting the Dec. 18 release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
The Dodge brand was already part of a promotion with Uber and Hotwheels in which Dodge Chargers were made to look like Storm Troopers.