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From the 12th Annual Shorty Awards

Mickey Mouse: The True Original

Entered in Instagram Presence


Disney’s Mickey Mouse is a globally-recognized cultural figure with a rich history of over 90 years. He symbolizes something to everyone – from imagination to creativity to youthfulness and nostalgia. He is a True Original. Working closely with the Disney Consumer Products Franchise Marketing Team, we wanted to create an Instagram account that spoke to Mickey’s history, while highlighting the impact and inspiration he has on youth culture today. Using a mix of original photography, design, new merchandise, user generated content and archival artwork, we created a social presence for Mickey that pushed him into new visual territory, while giving fans a place to create and interact with Disney’s most iconic character in a way they never had before, all while being able to shop the latest Mickey merchandise.

Strategy and Execution

In 2019, we focused our strategy on three key areas: highlighting tastemakers with an authentic love of Mickey Mouse; storytelling around artists inspired by Mickey Mouse who participated in the ‘Mickey True Original Exhibition’ or produced product collaborations; games and challenges that encouraged followers to play and create content of their own. Throughout the year, we partnered with a Disney character artist to create a series of social drawing challenges. Followers were taught how to sketch Mickey, then prompted to try it themselves using Instagram’s native drawing tools. UGC was then shared to and highlighted on the account. Using never-before-seen animation cels from vintage cartoons, we created a series of “flipbook” Instagram Stories that allowed users to tap to animate a classic scene.

During Mickey’s inaugural ‘True Original Summer of Music’ campaign, we highlighted emerging and established artists with a genuine love for Mickey Mouse on the account. Through original photography and video shot specifically for IGTV, we profiled global talent, covered concert events, and even hosted an Instagram-exclusive open mic, where songwriters were prompted to send us videos of their Mickey-inspired tunes.

Driven by new products, we aimed to drive purchase for Mickey merch while putting Mickey at the forefront of fashion trends. To accomplish this, we created a mix of video and still assets to highlight Disney’s collaborations with brands like Gucci, Kith, Columbia, and Levi’s, among many others. We also sourced a hyper-curated mix of UGC to show how celebrities and tastemakers were styling new and vintage-inspired Mickey apparel. To support the launch of Uniqlo’s ‘Mickey Art’ Collection, we created a series of social-first interviews with the global artists behind the designs. Throughout the year, we highlighted marquee products through the lens of a streetwear account, and created our own ”drops” using exclusive digital content like phone wallpapers and GIPHY stickers. 


Originally launched as a marketing tool for the Mickey: The True Original Exhibition pop-up art exhibit for Mickey’s 90th anniversary, in 2019 we transitioned the @MickeyTrueOriginal account to be the primary consumer touchpoint for Mickey’s ongoing influence across culture and fashion. By creating content for a more culturally immersed audience, the account also captured the attention of tastemakers across art, music and media, including more than 250 verified follows. 

By regularly curating and reposting organic UGC, the account that we started from scratch in 2018 is now being tagged or mentioned in grid posts more than 2,000 times a month. 

On the product front, @MickeyTrueOriginal drove notable purchase spikes for many Disney licensees – ultimately extending Mickey Mouse the True Original to consumers around the world. 



Entrant Company / Organization Name

Day One Agency, Disney


Entry Credits