So far, the marketing tie-ins for the Hunger Games franchise have included songs from Arcade Fire, Taylor Swift, and Coldplay, and a whole fashion magazine dedicated to the movie’s opulent costumes. It’s certainly a lot more impressive than your run-of-the-mill viral marketing campaign.

Unfortunately, some of these ploys are starting to seem a lot like a case of life imitating art. And when your source material is a dystopian story about oppression and child murder, that’s probably something you want to avoid. 

For example, it already seemed slightly ironic that unpaid teenagers were helping to drive the early social media campaigns, but then came the official product endorsements from weirdly inappropriate corporations like CoverGirl makeup, and... Subway.

The Hunger Games films are filled with beautiful costumes, hair and makeup, with many of the main characters decked out in gorgeous outfits inspired by designers like Alexander McQueen, but all this glamor is purposefully symbolic of a shallow and wasteful society that gives impoverished teenagers a makeover before sending them to their death. For a series that so heavily emphasizes the dangers of consumerism and vanity, it’s pretty ironic to have so many major public endorsement deals in the first place. CoverGirl’s makeup line (which “celebrates” the 12 Districts that work to support the super-rich Capitol) is basically the equivalent of a Star Wars marketing campaign inviting fans to join the Empire as an entry-level Stormtrooper.

Plenty of Hunger Games fans have already picked up on the inappropriate nature of CoverGirl’s makeup line, with one Tumblr community satirizing them with “accurate” Capitol-themed selfies. The photos posted at Capitol Cuties are intended to represent the true spirit of Hunger Games makeovers: Spending your copious cash on makeup, so you can look fabulous while you watch teenagers slaughter each other for your entertainment.

The makeup may not be as expertly applied as in the CoverGirl ads, but the captions are certainly a lot more realistic:

Photo via capitolcuties/Tumblr

“With my new CoverGirl Body Art pen I drew a map of the Hunger Games playing field on my face. The heart represents where my favorite tribute, Clove, got killed right at the Cornucopia. I bet a lot of money on her. I was really hoping she would kill that Katniss girl. Ugh District 12 Tributes are always just so poor.”

Photo via capitolcuties/Tumblr

“I was trying to go for the District 6 Transportation look but ironically enough, ground shipping was stalled. I guess all those stupid riots or whatever are slowing down the manufacturing and transporting? I blame Katniss Everdeen, if she would have just swallowed the berries then I would have my new Covergirl Capitol Collection look on point.  Instead, I have to use last month’s colors!  UGH.”

 

Photo via capitolcuties/Tumblr

“I once saw a tribute wipe blood on his face so another tribute would think he was dead. He obviously stole that fab look from me. I like to think of myself as a fashion trendsetter.”

This is probably not what CoverGirl was hoping for when they tried to engage with the Hunger Games fanbase, but maybe they can learn from the experience. When the next movie comes out, their makeup tie-in line could acknowledge the weirdness of the Capitol connection, and allow them to market themselves as a “true” Capitol brand. 

After all, they’d clearly have an audience. 

Photo via finnickcouture/Tumblr