As the world of Pretty Little Liars expanded to introduce fans to Millwood’s five new Liars, we needed to win over the love of the OG #PLLArmy. However, we were faced with major challenges in doing so. Given that OG fans were jaded by the last two reboots, they were skeptical when hearing about a new reboot. Not to mention, this series featured none of the original cast members and we also had to establish brand linkage with fans, given the new series was premiering on a completely new platform.
The overall objective with the Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin social media campaign was to utilize each social media platform effectively to win over the fans and form a strategic partnership with Community, a SMS marketing platform, to organically spread the word about the next generation of liars and reignite fans' Pretty Little Liars obsession.
Our goal was to reach the #PLLArmy in the most authentic way possible. So, in the spirit of A, we established constant and direct communication lines with fans wherever we could . Texting “A” was something viewers of the original series loved, and we wanted to bring back that experience for fans. We launched the Community Mobile Number to 10,712 total subscribers to mimic the iconic behavior of “A” texting people. Throughout the season we shared 18 exclusive videos from talent directly to our fans, based on their specific questions and interests…and they loved every single second of it. To spread the word to the PLL Army about our exclusive Community activation, we created custom, in-world assets encouraging fans to text A and get all of the latest updates from Millwood’s tip line. When the campaign launched, we updated the Pretty Little Liars bios to include the Community phone number and added the ‘text’ button feature to our Instagram profile, making it easy for fans to sign up.
A is everywhere, and so were we. We knew that a Gen-Z audience would relate to Original Sin’s new, diverse cast and culturally relevant themes. In an effort to develop this younger audience into series advocates, we launched our TikTok the day prior to the teaser trailer’s release with an audio-only post hinting at the iconic theme song’s return, creating buzz and garnering attention from both OG fans and newcomers alike. Talent Lives gave viewers direct access to their favorite Liars, giving our fans an opportunity to ask their burning questions and compare theories. Through leaning into trends, engaging with our audience, and encouraging all of the fan theories, we were able to immerse TikTok into the world of Millwood.
Our weekly Twitter Watch Parties also created an undeniable sense of community between fans and cast, as we shared real-time quote tweets, replies, and more. For the premiere, we live-streamed the first two episodes for free, so fans and talent could watch together simultaneously. The parties not only sparked engagement around the series and grew an appreciation for the Liars, but created an undeniable sense of community between fans and talent.
From the Twitter Premiere Watch Party that accounted for 155K live viewers to the launch of TikTok bringing in 102.3K total followers and 1.2 million engagements, PLL: Original Sin was top of mind for both existing fans and broader audiences.
On Community, we gained 7,896 new members and ended the campaign with over 10,500 total subscribers. Over 60% of the Community audience was Gen Z, and as a mobile-first audience they were highly engaged throughout the campaign. Our activations drove a 32% average click through rate, well exceeding the industry benchmark of 19.5%.
All efforts put towards our multi-platform presence culminated in #PLLOriginalSin trending in the Entertainment Twitter and Drama TV categories, our fans making Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin the #3 most social series for two consecutive weeks, and despite initial concerns about OG follower retention, we produced a growth of nearly 43% across our owned handles which brought us to a total of 28.4 million followers.
If Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin’s success was a secret, we definitely couldn’t keep it.