The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 is coming go take over the world shortly. All this week Lionsgate and Google are dropping YouTube-produced videos exploring the various districts of the dystopian world of Panem, and, as part of a partnership with Doritos (they’ve also teamed up with a gas company and Whole Foods, which seems like an odd trio of bedfellows) to deliver this new preview, “Choices.”
This is essentially a glorified TV spot, and plays out like a condensed version of what we’ve witnessed in various trailers and the like. You see heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), there’s rebellion, her home in District 12 is a pile of smoldering ruins, and she reluctantly lets herself be used as a pawn and a symbol of the uprising. Most important to this bit of footage is that she learns Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is still alive, a prisoner of the nefarious President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the Capital, and the love triangle with Katniss and Peeta and Gale (Liam Hemsworth) rears its ugly head. There’s a lot going on, but like I said, there’s likely not much, if anything, you haven’t come across before.
As you can tell, the popular snack chip manufacturer is all over this look at the film. You can also assume that they intend to squeeze a fair amount of promotion and marketing for their own brand out of this particular partnership, and this point is illustrated by the fact that if you go to the website listed at the end—www.unlockdistrict13.com—it’s basically a giant Doritos commercial masquerading as an interactive game and app. To be fair, it’s really hard to have product placement in a bleak futuristic dystopia, especially when you don’t want it to come across as sarcastic satire. Katniss can’t pause in the middle of battle for a Doritos break without it being really obvious.
Once at the website you can poke around, download an app, and try to win prizes. Most of this is movie-related swag, like exclusive posters and t-shirts, which are fine in their own right, but you can also win other things. Like gold, actual gold, or a kayak, a drone, a large utility bill payment, and even $1000 worth of meat. There is a bit of logic to this, and it is not just a random assortment of items thrown into a hat. Each of the 12 districts, and District 13, are represented, and the corresponding prize ties into whatever their given industry is.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 doesn’t open until November 21—Part 2 opens a year later on November 20, 2015—but you can go here and explore to keep yourself occupied until then. The Francis Lawrence-directed film stars Lawrence, Hutcherson, Hemsworth, Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, and Stanley Tucci.