Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes…and Promotional Partnerships


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Get Ready to Return to Panem

We all remember the mega-hit literary and film franchise Hunger Games, right? The films that launched actors Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth into superstardom. Well, may the odds be ever in your favor because we are getting a new prequel film—Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes! It seems like we receive a new casting announcement every week—West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler, Euphoria’s Hunter Schafer, and Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage are all set to star. Great story and a fantastic cast? Sign me up!

I for one am excited to see the film AND the brand partnerships that go with it. Here at Hollywood Branded, we love talking about movies and product placement; however, product placement isn’t the only entertainment marketing strategy brands can use when it comes to film partnerships. In this blog, Hollywood Branded will explain how brands can partner with films like the Hunger Games using promotional partnerships.

Hunger Games The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes...And Promotional Partnerships - 7.20.2022

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: What We Know

The new prequel film is based on a novel with the same title—Suzanne Collins’ the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. The adaption will follow a young Coriolanus Snow (previously played by actor Donald Sutherland in the original trilogy) on his journey before becoming the powerful, villainous president of Panem. It is set during the 10th Hunger Games, in which Snow serves as a mentor to the tribute from District 12, Lucy Gray Baird. Throughout the film, we see the transformation of both the Hunger Games and Snow himself.

The film already is full of top-notch A-listers:

  • Rachel Zegler – Lucy Gray Baird
  • Tom Blythe – Coriolanus Snow
  • Josh Andrés Rivera -Sejanus Plinth
  • Hunter Schafer - Tigris
  • Jason Schwartzman – Lucretius “Lucky” Flickerman
  • Peter Dinklage – Casca Highbottom

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May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor: Promotional Partnerships

Now, you would think that a film set in a dark dystopian fantasy future wouldn’t have many opportunities for product placement or brand integration—and you’d be mostly right (Blade Runner is a notable exception). I don’t think Starbucks or Mcdonald's survived the creation of Panem. However, that doesn’t mean entertainment marketing can’t be an incredibly valuable strategy when partnering with these kinds of films. That’s where promotional partnerships come in.

But what exactly are promotional partnerships? Promotional partnerships are relationships made between movie studios and brands to help raise massive awareness for both parties. Brands can lend a portion of their media buy to help promote the film, and the movie studio can include a brand’s product or logo in their marketing events (press junkets, Comic-Con, media buys, etc.).

A picture-perfect example of a promotional partnership is when earlier this year the film Jurassic World Dominion partnered with Carl’s Jr. & Hardees. The fast-food chains created a custom “Primal Menu” which included a custom Burrito, Biscuit with Fried Egg served with Jurassic World-themed BBQ sauce, an Angus Thickburger, and a Beyond Wraptor Burger. This partnership went WAY beyond a themed toy with a kid’s meal and got people of all ages excited for the film.

Carl's Jr and Hardee's Release New Primal Menu in Celebration of Jurassic  World Dominion

Photo Credit: 

Promotional Partnerships show that a brand can still achieve a film promotion without product placement, and a film wouldn’t have to jigsaw a brand into the story where it doesn’t fit. Win-win!

Hunger Games Promotional Partnership Examples

When the Hunger Games first premiered brands weren’t clamoring to do promotions with the film—it’s a dark, depressing story where kids must battle to the death in a televised event…not exactly the fun partnerships brands looked for at the time. Brands soon changed their tune though after the astounding success of the first film. As the franchise grew in popularity, Lionsgate saw a rise in partnership opportunities. Some fantastic Hunger Games promotional partnerships include:


Barbie was one of the first to recognize the advantage of partnering with Lionsgate. In anticipation of the film, Mattel created a Katniss Everdeen Barbie doll, complete with Katniss’ signature bow and arrows.

The Hunger Games": Mattel unveils Katniss Everdeen Barbie doll - CBS News

Photo Credit: Mattel


Panem, especially within the Capitol, is full of eccentric, futuristic, and whimsical makeup looks and costumes. It’s no wonder that Covergirl wanted in on the fun! Covergirl launched its Capitol Collection full of bright and bold makeup products. In addition, they created 12 different looks to match each district in the films.

CoverGirl The Capitol partnership The Hunger Games THG

Photo Credit: Covergirl


Yes, even the sub sandwich connoisseur got in on the promotional partnership bandwagon! Subway created the “Fiery Footlong Collection” in honor of the second film, Catching Fire. Each sandwich was accompanied by a hot, spicy sauce to catch your mouth on fire.

Total misfire: brands like CoverGirl and Subway miss point of Hunger Games  | Heather Long | The Guardian

Photo Credit: The Guardian


Samsung took a different approach and partnered with Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 at San Diego Comic-Con. The brand created the Capitol Gallery, which was located within the Samsung Galaxy Experience. During the event, the Mockingjay trailer premiered for the first time on the Galaxy Tab S.

Comic-Con 2014: Samsung Galaxy and The Hunger Games | Features | Roger Ebert

Photo Credit: Jana Monji

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What Can We Expect For the Prequel?

Lionsgate and The Hunger Games franchise has a history of being innovative and fun with their partnership promotions. With the uber-successful billion-dollar franchise for support, the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is sure to break box offices and have a plethora of promotional partnership opportunities. For example, I can see another makeup or even a fashion brand partnering with Lionsgate to showcase Hunter Schafer’s character Tigris’ style. Or, Rachel Zegler’s character, Lucy, is a singer, so there will definitely be opportunities for music partnerships like Spotify or Apple Music. And, of course, we know that Coriolanus Snow loves his roses, so online floral boutiques like Passion Roses would be a perfect partner. See, there are so many ways to get creative! The prequel film will not be out until next year, but I’m excited to watch what partnerships they have in store!

Eager To Learn More?

There are so many facets of entertainment marketing, whether it be product placement, promotional partnerships, or something else altogether! Check out some more Hollywood Branded blogs to learn more about partnerships and entertainment marketing: 

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