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Special Project

Special Project
From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

Kidding: Say It With A Smile

Entered in Instagram Presence


Hello friends, welcome to the world of Kidding.

The new SHOWTIME original series starring Jim Carrey illustrates the emotional journey of Jeff Pickles. For 30 years, Mr. Pickles has been a beacon of kindness and wisdom for America, but when his family life starts to unravel, Jeff's guiding principles are tested.


To mirror the Pickles Platoon Motto, "always be yourself," we approached our Instagram strategy the same way Mr. Pickles views the world: Say it with a smile! The goal is to tap into childhood nostalgia though Mr. Pickles' kind tone as we present the series' honest, raw and dark moments. In turn, this brings Jeff's emotional journey to life. We have 3 objectives:

1) Establish Kidding through short form video that mirrors the series' surreal style.

2) Engage social audiences by using relatable moments and storylines that most convey the show's unique premise.

3) Leverage the creative visionary behind Kidding, Dave Holstein, as well as the director, Michel Gondry, to bring their unique style and storytelling to life on Instagram.

Strategy and Execution

Instagram was our platform of choice for two reasons

1. Instagram lends the opportunity to think outside the box creatively for the Instagram feed and Instagram Stories as well as in our tone of voice and responsive messaging to fans.

2. Instagram is our fastest growing platform.

Creative Strategy

Our creative aims to convey a sense of childlike innocence and wonder, while also being emotionally complex in its messaging. Although the appearance of the animations is innocent and playful, they express the real, raw, and heartbreaking yet optimistic emotions that Kidding explores. We instill executive producer Michel Gondry's creativity and art form into each video. Our animations are handmade to compliment with the brilliantly simple and tactical opening credits created by Michel Gondry.

Instagram Feed Tactics

Arts & Quotes: We present the most memorable quotes as an eye-catching stop-motion animation. Each asset is entirely unique and created using materials that hearken back to childhood arts and crafts. The quote selected touches on the episode's most impactful theme in a way that reflects the rich duality that is the heart of Jeff Pickles' internal struggle.

Man in the Box: Pairing of emotionally raw quotes with stylized opening/closing animations. The animation features subtle nods to the subject matter discussed or alluded to in the scene.

Kidding Around by Michel Gondry: Each week we present Michel Gondry's inspiration behind his opening credits. His thoughts, along with the video, are shared on Instagram weekly.

Instagram Story Tactics:

Utilize a number of organic features on Instagram stories and saved them each as a "Highlight" on the Kidding Instagram.

Kidding World Premiere: Covers the World Premiere purple carpet of Kidding to share the experience with fans. Launched GIPHY stickers of the puppets so fans could begin using them.

Doodle Time: Utilizes the drawing tools on Instagram stories to encourage fans to create their own masterpiece, as related to a storylines in the series.

Share Your Thoughts: Utilizes the questions sticker, ticker tool and screenshot/share options to encourage engagement with fans with prompts that relate to the storyline. The Kidding handle posts fan responses to the story, along with some commentary and decoration.

Instagram Feed:

That Little Voice

The Stuff I Like About you

The Story Goes On

Breaking is Healing

A Terrible Circumstance

When Children Misbehave

A Show About Death

Breaking Point


Terrible Listener

Instagram Stories:

Kidding World Premiere & Giphy Sticker Launch

Magical Trips

Self Portrait

Favorite Puppet



Kidding saw incredible success with an overall 137% increase in community size on Instagram since premiere, as well as an 8% engagement rate. Fans were drawn to the magic of Kidding on social, which recreated the experience of watching the series. The series creator, Dave Holstein, mentioned how "terrifically thoughtful the Kidding" posts were and "they know the scripts better than I do".


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Showtime Networks


Entry Credits