With the long awaited Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 soon to be released, we can’t help but wonder how we would do things differently…  

It’s all about advertising! District 13 rely on convincing people that they are fighting for good, having been people dominated by the Capital for generations. It’s rather a big ask: They’re not going to risk death for anyone, so they’ve got to be convincing. That’s where the branding comes in. Katniss Everdeen, the film’s protagonist, is their “advert”; she is the brand. Katniss is portrayed as passionate, strong willed, and, of course, a mean shot with her bow and arrow. They use her emotion to manipulate others into feeling the need to fight and the need to start the revolution.

Once they’ve got the branding down and have fully edited the advert, they display the piece on all the TV screens within the districts (the districts have no way of contacting each other, so to organise anything is a monumental task, thus using the screen is realistically their only option).

In the eyes of the city, how could this have been prevented? Something as simple as an Ad Blocker is the answer… (sorry President Snow, you missed out on this one!). Ad Blockers stop ads loading and would have prevented the video being displayed completely – which would have resulted in the disabling of the plan for a revolution.


Is this an over optimistic view? Well in 2014, 41% of 18-to-29 year olds polled by PageFair (who are notoriously “anti” anti-ad blocking) said they used ad blockers. This year alone it is estimated that about £14.3 billion in global advertising revenue has been blocked, with one report estimating that, that number will nearly double in 2015 to a whopping £26.8 billion. Whenever revolution starts, it’s usually where the money is (or food in the case of Katniss)

How did we end up with an internet fueled by ads? Publishers produce the content that you and I consume rabidly every day. Producing that content takes time, and as everyone knows; time=money, and money is expensive! Content creators support their habit, either through subscription fees, or through advertising, where brands pay the publisher for the opportunity to get seen by you. The consumer. Ad blocking puts a spanner in the works with regards to the relationship between consumers and publishers. Suddenly, you, the consumer, are receiving content without payment or viewing ads. Free content.

How can advertisers circumvent the post apocalyptic ad-less wasteland that these adblockers are instigating? The bottom line is, that customers don’t want to be bombarded with ads – especially those that have no relevance to them. When users choose to make use of ad blockers, what people are in effect doing is rejecting bad ads.

In order to halt the revolution in its tracks, good advertising should be indistinguishable from content, and the noise that is bad advertising, needs to be silenced. Click-baity “what-character-from-the-hunger-games-are-you?” articles, need to be silenced. (buzzfeed, we’re looking at you). Creating refined advertising campaigns, utilising highly targeted messaging, and presenting your message to an audience that wants to hear from you via tools like Re-Marketing,becomes ever important. Chances are, if someone is actually looking for a service or product you deliver, they are more likely to click on your ad.

Some have argued that blocking ads will do the industry good. It is true that it has started an  important conversation about the user experience in advertising. But ad blocking is just an interim solution to a much bigger problem. Once we tackle the larger issue, the smaller solution will no longer be necessary.

All that’s left to say is:

May the ads be ever in your favour.