The Hunger Games are…Real?

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, opened on November 22, 2013 as a sequel to the Hunger Games. What started as a series of books by Suzanne Collins has been turned into a hit soon-to-be trilogy. Catching Fire made an estimated $158,074,286.00 on its opening night in the United States alone, according to IMDB. The blockbuster film partnered with many companies, including Subway and Feeding America. This trio has combined forces to also include Twitter in an effort to end hunger.

As a result of Subway and Catching Fire being partners, Subway is currently using the tributes of the Games to encourage people to eat in the restaurant. This type of celebrity endorsement brings in people who might not normally eat there. “Oh, if Peeta eats Subway, I should too!” Granted, this behavior might come more from children but they, in turn, will ask their parents to take them to Subway. I’ve seen this time and time again with my younger siblings. This also works for the older crowd, however, because a partnership of this nature often includes promotional items or sales/deals that someone may anticipate being offered. Subway has transformed their marketing strategies and dining areas, with concepts like “Where Victors Eat” and “Win your own Victory Tour,” with the latter being a sweepstakes in conjunction with their collectible Catching Fire drink cups.r_kat1

In the third and final facet of this trio of partners, Feeding America has jumped in and put their cause directly in the middle. Subway has placed cardboard cutouts of tributes Katniss, Peeta, and Finnick in the dining areas of Subways. A patron, after eating “What Victors Eat,” can take a photo with the cutouts and post it to the Subway Twitter, with the hashtag of #SUBtractHunger. Each time a hashtag is used, it is counted towards the 1,000,000 meals that Subway will buy for Feeding America. In the fine print, it says that Subway will donate up to $125,000, as each dollar makes about nine meals. However, this linkage will only exist until 11:59pm on December 15, 2013. The meals will be provided from Feeding America through local food banks in areas in need.

This celebrity endorsement effectively ties in cause marketing in order to create an environment in which Subway patrons are encouraged to aid Feeding America. Though there is no mention of patrons being able to donate money directly to Feeding America via Subway and Catching Fire, the Feeding America website has a donation area, as well as a hyperlink to a Hunger Games site, where a large “Ignite the Fight Against Hunger” plea is proudly displayed under a Mockingjay and above a photo of the tributes stoically ready to win the real-world Hunger Games. The number of families that go hungry over the holidays is continuously growing. With Feeding America, Subway, and the Hunger Games movie series teaming up to feed families, alongside many other organizations attempting to end hunger, do you think the odds are in are their favor?

-Hilary Hall