Oh boy! Mickey Mouse first entered the hearts of lifelong kids in 1928, and has since become a favorite character and beloved friend to millions. From onscreen to online to #IRL, Mickey has been everywhere in the world — except Instagram. In 2016, Disney tapped McBeard to introduce this iconic character to the platform's audience.
The objective of the official Mickey Instagram handle was to reinforce Mickey's brand values and enduring personality traits in a way that appealed to both teens and adults on this new platform, in addition to driving awareness around Disney's new Mickey Mouse entertainment on YouTube and other digital and Disney-owned platforms. Specific KPIs centered around driving engagements and impressions on the channel.
The official Mickey Instagram launched in October 2016 with an interactive Instagram grid featuring 12 individual posts. A mix of video and static graphics highlighted the history of Mickey from the beginning of his journey to present day, paving the way for all-new, Instagram-specific content to engage and delight fans.
To reach more Mickey fans, the launch was strategically announced across Disney's incredible family of brands on social, including Mickey's Facebook page, the Disney Facebook page, and the Disney Instagram account.
The Instagram launch was perfectly timed to further generate buzz around Mickey's birthday on November 18th. This year, for his birthday, Mickey travelled around the world to 7 different cities to meet and dance with his biggest fans. During his journey, Mickey's Instagram account served as one of the primary platforms for him to communicate about his trip in real time, and (for the first time ever) Mickey posted live photos and videos about his travels in his own voice. Around the birthday, the account also featured a series of birthday-themed content that encouraged fans to share their Mickey memories and birthday wishes using #HappyBirthdayMickey.
While Mickey's style has evolved since his 1928 debut, his loyal, optimistic, fun, plucky and charming personality has remained the same. To create a cohesive feel to the handle, each piece of Instagram content was designed to show Mickey in action and showcase one or more of Mickey's traits. A variety of art styles was also featured, from classic black & white to the colorful new shorts to the live character from the Parks, to highlight Mickey's personality across all applications. Whether fans were double tapping on a charming Steamboat Willie graphic or LOLing at a plucky Mickey hiding from Monday, we created a space where a diverse fanbase could connect with their favorite character.
Knowing success on Instagram relies on relevancy, McBeard led the development of much of the evergreen content for the account by ming Disney's vast content library for videos and images that could then be reimagined and optimized to appeal to specific beats IG audiences engage with, including holidays, events, emotional moments, trends, seasons and more. Additionally, McBeard created a number of wholly original pieces inspired by Mickey, his friends and his adventures that aligned with Mickey's desire to entertain and bring joy to fans.
Paid media was applied strategically to reach targeted audiences on Instagram, specifically teens and adults with an affinity for Disney who may not be aware of the new Mickey Mouse handle. Custom content surrounding Mickey's Birthday, as well as other culturally relevant moments like the winter holidays rounded out the paid support, with the goal of driving engagement and impressions to reinforce the Mickey franchise.
Overall, a diverse mix of graphics, GIFs, short videos, original photography, illustrations, cinemagraphs, and original animation were posted to the handle, and continue to be shared.
Since the launch of Mickey's Instagram, fans have felt the Mickey love. In just over three months, our follower count has climbed to 309,483 fans — and counting!
During Mickey's birthday window, fans used #HappyBirthdayMickey over 33,650 times.
From October 2016 to December 2016, our original content generated 1,678,777 organic post engagements and 2,127,000 paid post engagements — a total of 3,805,777 engagements. Most importantly, we gave fans a new way to connect with one of their faves and gave Mickey a platform to build new friendships.
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