When world-class artistry, innovative technology, powerful stories, and talented people come together, the result could only be Pixar. Our Instagram is the central hub for all things our brand touches, inclusive of new movie releases, Disney Parks announcements, consumer products drops, sustained viewing of Pixar properties on Disney+, and more.
In 2021, we made it our focus to mirror the creative and technical excellence of our Studio through crafting best in class content that innovatively leaned into native platform features, drove support for our many business priorities, and expanded our platform into an engaged, passionate, and inclusive community of fans–both old and new alike - where diverse stories both inside and outside of Pixar were amplified.
The Pixar Instagram has far-reaching objectives, but ultimately a key part of the strategic approach to meet every goal is consistent audience engagement. This is reflected in two ways: showing audiences who we are by developing brand affinity and showing audiences a reflection of themselves in Pixar through our connection with them. Our Instagram seeks to tie this together by creating thumb-stopping visuals paired with an emphasis on native features.
For brand affinity, we showcase innovative artwork, Instagram-first video content (such as Reels featuring characters in interactive ways), and unique content formats (such as Origin Stories behind our favorite movies, a side-by-side format juxtaposing Pixar images with real life counterparts, snack-sized food videos and more)! One notable example of a campaign we did this year was our “Animation Adventurers” program. A challenge at Pixar is that our audiences love to learn about behind-the-scenes moments, but since animation is a complicated process, it can be difficult to explain. Our team created a month-long program to spotlight lesser known parts of the process in digestible ways, like comics to explain how textures are created, a connected carousel showcasing the full animation pipeline, a carousel showing the process of building maquettes, infographics to highlight fun facts about departments, and long form video content like having crew members break down the creation of a film scene. To conclude the program, we created an interactive Story Quiz to test audiences on what they learned and a certificate that they could screenshot, add their own photo/username to, and share to their Story!
For audience connection, showcasing UGC is something important in celebrating the fan creativity, but we also try to create content that can speak to people on a personal level. For instance, our Mental Health Checkpoint video series of animated Reels are designed to give audiences a relaxing break from feed-scrolling to reflect. We also create Pixar themed art like “Self-Care Tips'' or “How to Have an Incredible Workout” that pair Pixar characters with healthy lifestyle habits! Beyond this, something key to Pixar is our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We want our audiences to feel seen through the employees and films of Pixar. Beyond just representation, this content should feel authentic. We often showcase the cultural traditions of our employees through holiday themed employee spotlights. However, we also aim to push the boundaries of what we represent where it feels genuine. For example, a challenge we faced during the Hanukkah season was finding ways to authentically celebrate holidays, even if we don’t have IP that reflects certain cultures. We consulted with the Jewish affinity group at Disney and agreed that dreidel is a Jewish tradition that everyone can be a part of–so we created a comic explaining how to play during the holidays using Pixar themed dreidels!
At the end of the day, our Instagram is a place where all are welcome and the results are clear in our sentiment and account engagements.
2021 was a landmark year for Pixar Instagram, resulting in huge success across virtually every metric compared to the previous year. Key stats include:
- A 13% growth in followers, further cementing our place as the most followed animation studio on Instagram
- A 16% growth in impressions
- A 32% growth in in engagements
- And a 79% increase in video views, our highest in Pixar Instagram history, with a soaring 50M views coming from our early adoption and regular programming of Reels
That being said, perhaps the best result of all has been the many wonderful comments we’ve received from fans who feel seen and represented through our content. Our followers tell us how much they appreciate how we connect our stories to their worlds and how it also provides them with the opportunity to share their stories with others as well and we couldn’t be more grateful.
By developing creative and ground-breaking platform-first activations that share our story and bring fans into it as well, we’ve driven business goals while also growing our Instagram into an enthusiastic, inclusive, and wholly engaged community where all are welcome. It’s been an incredible (no pun intended) year and we can't wait to continue these goals in 2022 to infinity...and beyond!