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All the evidence that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston's reunion is just a clever campaign strategy.

Despite what history may lead you to believe, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt are not in the business of making mistakes.

During their decades spent under the harsh glare of Hollywood, they’ve both weathered a torrent of personal turmoil and career missteps, yet the ex-spouses still remain bathed in a favourable glow by the public and press alike.

All thanks to a dual publicity strategy that has been carefully rolled out over the years in order to smooth over any negative connotations left behind from their infamous divorce and the introduction of Angelina Jolie into their narrative.

You might not want to admit it, but chances are good that you’re probably one of the millions of people across the world who would feel more comfortable reciting Brad and Jennifer’s relationship timeline than you would trying to recite your own family history from memory.

They began dating in 1998, after meeting in the classic showbiz way of being set up by their agents, were married in 2000 and their divorce was finalised in 2005.

The kicker to this story is that of course, Brad was photographed with his Mr and Mrs Smith co-star Angelina Jolie in 2005, quietly vacationing together on a beach in Kenya with her young son Maddox. They went on to marry, became parents to six children, before divorcing in 2018.

Listen to Laura Brodnik and Kee Reece discuss all the evidence that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s reunion is just a clever campaign strategy on The Spill.

Much like the recent photos of Jennifer and Brad happily greeting each other backstage at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards, the sweet family-style Kenya images were no accident.

As seasoned movie stars with experienced and well-paid publicity teams working for them, Brad and Jennifer have always employed the celebrity media trick of keeping their magazine cover stories and interviews aspirational and thoughtful, while at the same time being vague and short on any sort of personal details.

It’s the question they’ve been asked most by media for over a decade, yet you could count up the number of intimate quotes they’ve let slip about each other and still not run out of fingers.

All the while letting a few well-placed photos do the talking on their behalf.

Much like the introduction of Brad and Angelina’s already controversial relationship via seemingly prearranged sweet domestic beach snaps, Jennifer and Brad employed a similar technique in early 2005 when rumours around their marriage first began to swirl.

In this case, they left the privacy of their exclusive Carribean holiday accommodations to take a walk near waiting paparazzi and were snapped quickly kissing before retreating back into privacy.

It’s now 15 years later and hard to blame the former couple for continuing to employ a publicity trick that has worked so well for them in the past and allows them to maintain some sort of grip around the never-ending narrative that continually swirls around them.

If you’re looking for a reason why the Morning Wars and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood stars would employ such a game plan for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, look no further than what went down when they both attended the Golden Globe Awards earlier this month.

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It’s been a while since both (currently single) stars have circled each other during an awards season and awards show publicity teams would not be earning their paycheques if they didn’t capitalise on it.

Even though Brad and Jennifer, who both attended the Globes, obviously went to great pains not be captured on the international telecast or appear in any questionable photos together, despite their tables almost being side-by-side, organizers still found a way to use them for ratings, which at the end of the day is the point of the whole endeavour.

It’s a sign of good show direction, and less a case of coincidence, that Jennifer was seated just behind Brad’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood co-star Leonardo DiCaprio, ensuring that her face was captured on-screen during his entire acceptance speech, under the guise of traditionally panning to his cast table.

With the publicity wheels already spinning, it’s no wonder that Brad, Jennifer and their teams decided to use the situation to their advantage.  It was also no coincidence that they chose to do it at the more prestigious and less headline-grabbing SAG Awards rather than at the showier Golden Globes, which Brad himself labelled “eclectic and ever-raucous”.

The first image captured backstage at the SAG Awards shows Brad and Jennifer gleefully greeting each other, while the second (and more provocative) image shows Brad grasping Jennifer’s wrist and holding her hand against his chest, as she attempts to dart back into the surrounding crowd.

Whether the formal couple are on good terms or not (and realistically, we’ll never really know the truth) the only fact we know for certain is that they wanted these photographs to be taken.

You don’t get photographed at an awards show press hotspot unless you want to.

In fact, according to the photographers who snapped the already iconic images, Brad alerted them that the moment was about to happen by walking past the swarms of photographers idling around backstage and then loudly calling out for Jennifer to meet him.

“I was backstage at the SAG-AFTRA awards and heard a familiar voice shouting “Aniston! ANISTON!”,” Vivien Killilea Best, a freelance photographer who also works for Getty Images, wrote on her Instagram account when she posted the infamous photo. ” I turned around and saw this gem of a moment happen.”

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So, what was the flame that ignited this swarm of publicity for Brad and Jennifer?

Most likely, it all comes down to a mutually beneficial business arrangement.

In Brad’s case, although he is coming off a successful awards season run, he’s still vying to land that Oscar gong and prior to the 2020 awards season his reputation had endured a few knocks.

All largely based on the widespread speculation that he’s not in contact with the six children he shares with ex-wife Angelina Jolie, even leading to questions around why he didn’t mention them in his Golden Globes speech.

It didn’t help that in September 2019, video footage was released of his eldest son Maddox saying he didn’t think his father would visit him at college.

So by taking part in these images, it helped public perception to veer towards seeing the sweet and nostalgic side to his relationship with Jennifer, rather than the man who cheated on her and broke her apart. A small moment of public redemption.

On Jennifer’s part, it was clear from the Golden Globes that she was never going to walk away from this narrative and so instead she leaned into it, but this time with the upper hand. As an award-winning actress, confident and secure enough in her own career to calmly greet her famous ex backstage, before being the one to end the encounter.

Just like the footage captured of Brad watching Jennifer’s acceptance speech with wrapt attention backstage (in full view of the press) and the large ring strategically placed on Jennifer’s engagement finger (teams of people and hours of planning go into every inch of an awards show look) nothing about this encounter was accidental.

The truth is that as long as the publicity beast demands to be fed by the likes of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, the longer they’ll continue to nourish it.

And after the decades that they’ve been through, who can blame them?

Feature Image: Getty. 


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