Check Out Elizabeth Banks as Effie in the First Ad From the Weirdly Misguided ‘Hunger Games’ Nail Polish Collection
Posted on Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 by Angie Han
Heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) may be a no-nonsense tomboy with zero interest in primping, but Lionsgate and cosmetics company China Glaze aren’t about to let that stop them from pushing a collection of nail polish colors based on The Hunger Games. Called “Colours from the Capital,” the new line features twelve shades named after the twelve Districts of Panem. And if you’ve read the books, you’ll understand exactly what feels so tone-deaf about this particular tie-in.
On the positive side, at least they picked the right spokesperson for the job. Bubbly, pink-haired Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) makes a much more appropriate model than Katniss or any of her fellow tributes would (you know, because they’re too busy fighting to the death), and she actually looks pretty striking here to boot. Check out the first ad and collection of colors after the jump.
Here’s the first ad, which looks like your typical Cover Girl ad tossed with a generous splash of Lady Gaga. Which is not a criticism — the styling and photo are definitely very Effie.
And here are the colors, which as All Laquered Up notes, correspond to each of Panem’s Districts.
Luxe and Lush – District 1 (Luxury)
Stone Cold – District 2 (Masonry)
Riveting – District 3 (Technology)
Hook and Line – District 4 (Fishing)
Electrify – District 5 (Power)
Fast Track – District 6 (Transportation)
Mahogany Magic – District 7 (Lumber)
Dress Me Up – District 8 (Textiles)
Harvest Moon – District 9 (Grain)
Foie Gras – District 10 (Livestock)
Agro – District 11 (Agriculture)
Smoke and Ashes – District 12 (Mining)
I’ve got nothing against nail polish lines based on movie franchises in general, but this particular collaboration seems to miss the point of the movie entirely. Though Katniss does eventually get a makeover, it’s only as part of her campaign to stay alive and she finds the overall experience distasteful. While the citizens of the Capitol enjoy getting dolled up, most of them are portrayed — in the books, anyway — as frivolous beings who obsess over the latest trends in hair dye while remaining oblivious to the suffering of their fellow citizens. They’re not exactly the characters you want to identify with, so it’s weird and off-putting that this collection and its ad put us in their position.
On the other hand, I understand that this kind of cross-promotion is de rigeur for a film as big as The Hunger Games is shaping up to be — even Lisbeth Salander got her own H&M line, after all. And it is actually tough to think of a realistic tie-in product that’d be better suited to the material, since no one’s about to make Hunger Games-branded crossbows for teens. Nor do I think the disconnect between the movie’s themes and its tie-in will hurt either Lionsgate or China Glaze any; the real reason I won’t be buying any of these is simply that I don’t like the colors. But “Colours from the Capitol” is an interesting glimpse at the challenge of marketing a multi-million-dollar movie that rails against excessive consumerism and mindless entertainment. Let’s just hope their next attempt feels less jarringly incompatible than this one.