To reach a younger audience, Lionsgate UK jazzed up the launch of La La Land with an all-singing, all-dancing video campaign on Instagram.

A musical movie masterpiece

The stunning visuals and sound of La La Land meant that Instagram was the obvious choice for Lionsgate UK to generate anticipation for the year’s biggest musical movie.


lift in ad recall


lift in movie awareness


lift in movie viewing intent


lift in intent amongst females

We knew Instagram was the perfect platform for this film, but introducing the younger audience to something new is a huge challenge. Ensuring cut-through in today’s over-crowded market online is ever more difficult. In order to do this, we had to change our creative strategy to be platform- and audience-first. Working closely with the team at Instagram, we achieved this and the lift results showed positive contribution to the box office success.
Rachel Masuku, Head of Digital, Lionsgate UK
Making a song and dance

With people aged 18–24 unfamiliar with the classic Hollywood musical genre, Lionsgate UK needed to boost awareness of the film and drive ticket sales among a younger generation.

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Pitch perfect

The answer was to build a series of vibrant, thumb-stopping videos that were uniquely produced for one platform—Instagram.

To create the videos, Lionsgate looked at the key areas of interest for people on Instagram: travel, cinematography and photography, romance and fashion—all of which were a perfect fit for La La Land. These themes were used to create 10 customized videos that could be delivered to precisely the right audiences, using Instagram and Facebook targeting.

Each video was under 30 seconds long, starring the film’s leads, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, and referenced key scenes and locations in La La Land. One showed Gosling and Stone dancing on a hill overlooking Los Angeles at sunset, while another showed the pair leaving a jazz bar with the film’s title in neon lights on a wall above them. Building on the themes, there were also male/female fashion-focused videos and nostalgia cuts with a celebration of the golden age of Hollywood, many using one-word reviews in retro type.

The dazzling videos promoted the A-list stars and sing-a-long storyline using alternative, and often surreal, versions of the traditional trailer that were directly targeted to specific groups. Using creative captioning, the videos could be played with or without sound to fit naturally into people's viewing experience.

The videos were just as enjoyable for those who had seen the film as those who haven’t, and were a great example of the type of video that works best on Instagram—short, visually compelling content that plays well either with and without sound.

The videos clearly inspired the audience, creating a 24-point increase in ad recall, an 8-point lift in awareness and a 4-point rise in viewing intent. Consequently, the record-breaking box office performance was particularly strong among younger audiences, as well as traditional audiences.

This activity represented a shift in the traditional approach to marketing a musical. We were excited with the results, and were especially pleased with how the Instagram team were able to understand the tone of the movie and communicate it to their audience through beautiful creative.
Ross Cunningham, Co-Head of Theatrical & Head of Marketing, Lionsgate UK
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