Even before setting box office records it was clear The Hunger Games would be a major title of the 2012 calendar. Lionsgate Studios made the biggest investment in its history to launch the franchise, and the marketing of the film was as omnipresent as the central-government in the film.

That plot point made for a curious choice by the studio. The central planners of Capitol, the government of Panem, are what the heroine of the novels rails against. The politicos are overt, and overly consumed with fashion and couture, and that meant the idea of marketing a line of makeup products and nail polishes was at least a little bit out of touch with the theme of the books. After casting the image-obsessed government as malevolent it becomes a risky venture to brand a beauty line based on the mentality.

An interesting sidelight in the studio’s marketing effort was the online campaign. In order to fully immerse fans into the web experience dozens of web sites sport the address extension “.pn”, as the web domain of the country of Panem. It turns out when the studio wished to use this online address there was an ongoing web registry to suit its needs. The tiny island nation of The Pitcairn Islands sells these domains for corporations, and the sheer number of sites purchased by Lionsgate provided a tidy windfall for the sparsely populated island group.

With any saturation release you are sure to get a number of licensed products that range from the arcane and esoteric to the downright obtuse. Some fit perfectly into the “HG” universe, such as the official bow, as archery plays a prominent role in the film. (Although as we live in a generation forbidden from playing with dangerous toys, such as lawn darts it makes you wonder how this escaped the legal purview.)

Making slightly less sense are a few of the other items made for the sake of slapping the burning bird logo onto any product and deeming it “Official”. While obviously interior lighting was displayed on screen I am less certain as to the significance of having a “Hunger Games” light bulb.

Lionsgate took a unique turn with their marketing in not only moving into the DIY marketplace of CafePress.com, but they turned things over to the fans to create all manner of official products for the film on that site. This is both an immersive way to include fans and a way of diluting the impact of your brand. After all, you are bound to find curiosities. You have to agree that the gravity of the story may become slightly undermined once you see the “HG” version of a Snuggie.

Rabid fandom is known to inspire all manner of devotional actions, but it rarely has been associated with reserved good taste. Case in point, while I understand you may have a deep-seated affection for the character of Peeta there clearly has been a lack of introspection in crafting these foundation garments. This needed the objective opinion from an outside source; couldn’t anyone have explained the reason it is wrong to depict a loaf on underwear?

The zeal for a franchise often extends to those who cannot defend themselves from the onslaught. I mean, I get it; you want everyone to know you are a huge fan of the books and movie so having your baby adorned with licensed materials is bound to happen. But does anyone really think that this is the proper kind of message to instill in your budding progeny?

One of the surprises in the rampant success of the film was the makeup of the audience. Initially when we saw the bloated box office figures the assumption was that the teens arrived en masse, much like they had for the “Twilight” series. However the exit polling showed that over half of the “Hunger Games” audience was over the age of 25. It is for this reason that it now makes sense to see that New York Sports Clubs gym has created a Hunger Games themed workout routine. The workout is supposed to replicate the training seen in the film, with routines entitled “The Katniss Kickback”, and “Peeta Presses”.

Maybe you can completely transform yourself and couple this workout with some of the recipes from the “(Unofficial) Hunger Games Cookbook”. You can get into fighting condition and fuel your body just like the participants. But even if you are not that ambitious I still think you can find this a helpful tool for body management. Looking over selections such as “Gale’s Bone-picking Big Game Soup”, or maybe “Rue’s Roasted Parsnips” it is my guess that weight loss would become rather easy.