Nothing sells Subway sandwiches like “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” — right?
While early reviews of “The Hunger Games” sequel are calling it a “political science fiction epic” that inspires viewers to think of “the power of the state, the complicity of the crowd and the need for dissent,” Subway’s new tie-in commercial for the movie neuters the point of the flick down to simply noting that Katniss is “bold.” Yes, really.
The ad shows an emotional shot of Panem citizens — many of whom are likely on the brink of starving in the context of the story — raising their hands to salute Katniss and Peeta in a blatant act of rebellion against the Capitol. Except while it is a hugely impactful moment in the flick, here it is used to convince viewers that Subway’s new Sriracha Chicken Melt is something they should eat. Honestly, this is probably one of the worst movie tie-in commercials we’ve seen air.
It’s no secret that many films make a decent chunk of their money from marketing campaigns like these, but did Subway have to so blatantly disregard the messages of “The Hunger Games” in this ad? Sure, there’s the connection that the latest flick in the series is called “Catching Fire” and sriracha sauce catches fire to one’s taste buds, but this commercial is just downright insulting to fans of this franchise. Seriously, this is a series about an uprising against an evil government that makes children fight to the death yearly and Subway is making it all about sandwiches.
“Bold can be standing up for what you believe in. Bold can be testing your limits and defying all odds. And now, bold can be found at Subway,” the narration on the commercial says before promoting the fast food chain’s new “Fiery Footlongs.” While the subs are likely delicious, somehow it doesn’t seem likely that Katniss would find herself relating to Subway the way this commercial seems to imply that she does.