Do It For the Pitches: The Return of Pitch Perfect

By Jacqui Geday

For my presentation, I’ve decided to explore the social media campaign of Pitch Perfect 2. At this point, all that the content creators needed to do was to make sure the content they created for the film drove numbers to the movie theatres, and potentially create new fans in the wake of the original Pitch Perfect marketing campaign

Bernadette Jiwa’s blog article, ‘Why You’, highlights the fact that content creators have to give the audience a reason to care about what we’re presenting to them. The more they care, the more inclined audiences are to use the product. In the case of Pitch Perfect 2, the marketers decided to make audiences care through empathy and relating to the characters. The team partnered up with Buzzfeed to create Pitch Perfect 2 themed lists, which allowed potential audience members to read them, think “oh this is so me, this is what I would think too,” and start to care about the film.

To do this, the Pitch Perfect 2 team took hold of one of the then-newer modes of instant news – Buzzfeed Instant Articles, partnered with Facebook. Instant articles are shared more widely than other articles. The Pitch Perfect 2 articles were easy to share and relatable, and thus were shared a lot during its brief time frame.

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In her article ‘Acts of Differentiation,’ Jiwa stresses that, if we want to differentiate our products, we have to align the values that we have of the product to the targeted audience. For Pitch Perfect 2, that value was sisterhood. With post-production, in addition to a few Snapchat filter takeovers at audience targeted events (cheerleading competitions, Cosmo magazine parties and more of that sort,) the team tagged onto the Snapchat of an existing TV show, Pretty Little Liars, for their content. Pretty Little Liars itself also has strong values of sisterhood associated with the show, so the audience was already there on their Snapchat for the team of Pitch Perfect 2 to use. The content itself was simple – women demonstrating the value of sisterhood, rather than telling the audience what the value was. By doing so, the film aligned its values to that of their target audience.

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Finally, Jiwa’s article ‘Marketing Constants,’ states that the people who you want as customers are going to be your ‘constants’ – the ‘loyal consumers’ that are going to keep coming back. Pitch Perfect 2’s had a huge advantage when it came to this idea, because the first movie already had a loyal following. So they honed the same fan base with the blogging platform Tumblr, and created shareable gifs of the first movie but aligned them with the second movie. They also used the original movie’s Instagram to promote the new movie, and created new material with the same style they had used before. By doing so, it remained true to the ‘tone’ of the film, making sure to not alienate the original fans.

I’m sure that in my presentation, I’ll do a better job at tying everything together – but alas, I have gone way too past the word count. It’s safe to say I’m taking a lot of inspiration from the Pitch Perfect 2 team for my future marketing endeavors, and I’ve definitely learned a lot from this campaign.

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