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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Pixar's Instagram Presence

Gold Honor in Instagram Presence


Pixar has always been at the forefront of innovation and quality within the animation industry, and our approach to social media across all platforms is meant to celebrate and reflect the love put into these films, as well as audiences’ love for the brand as a whole.

When crafting our strategy on Instagram in 2023, our goals were twofold: First, we wanted to continue to enhance our best performing types of content to find optimized ways of speaking to and celebrating our loyal fans. Secondly, we wanted to evaluate how to innovate new content formats and evolve previous brand guidelines to speak more to the current landscape of social media and attract new audiences.

The last Instagram goal is where our Threads strategy also came into play. We were an early adopter of Threads and quickly established that our goal on this new platform was experimentation and evolution of the Pixar voice in a way that felt fresh, unique, and personal, in hopes of, again, reaching new audiences.

Strategy and Execution

In our overall social strategy for 2023, some things the team kept top-of-mind were ways to challenge the status quo of the brand in order to both enhance top performing content and also innovate new kinds of content. As a part of the natural evolution of where social media has been headed, the team made the conscious decision this year to evaluate how we show up in tone of voice and type of content per platform and that led to some innovation and change that we’re incredibly proud of.

On Instagram, this evolution led to innovative meme content (such as Pixar's first Reel to ever remove a character from their in-world background and position them in a relatable context, with 1M views), highlighting fan-favorite scenes with a bit more of an edge (such as this Good Dinosaur clip, with 14.2M views), and putting new takes on fan-favorite formats such as quote graphics–this time, by allowing us to showcase crossing IPs both within Pixar as well as on other Disney brands

This year has also seen more experimentation with innovative visual formats, such as aesthetic graphics, more IP-forward photography both on the Pixar campus and around the Disney theme parks, POV style content to highlight Pixarians, and formats that lean into the natural humor and fun of Pixar. In addition, we also focused on making sure that our fan-favorite content series were also represented and enhanced–such as the Pixar Origin Story, Mental Health Checkpoint, Side-By-Sides, and Interactive Polls

Threads was an incredibly unique experiment for us, as we wanted to keep the focus mostly on text posts, so that Instagram could remain the go-to place for our signature displays of stunning artwork or video visuals. This opened us up to create a unique new voice–and became the first Pixar social platform where we decided to use first-person language to make comedic observations, engage our audience, or simply be relatable! (This was so successful, we later expanded parts of this tone of voice to TikTok.) Even when the trailer for Inside Out 2 dropped, we wanted to make sure that Threads had a different twist on how traditional marketing content was delivered that was tailored to this new voice. As a part of reaching a new audience, we also wanted to prioritize jumping on trends and did so successfully–from parodying a Spotify wrapped graphic by showcasing a new Inside Out emotion, to jumping in on a humorous brand trend after we saw AMC movie theaters join the fun. Our Threads strategy continues to evolve as the platform itself evolves, but we want to consistently show up in ways that will hopefully grow our audience.


Over the course of 2023, Pixar’s Instagram hit a total of 9.6M followers and saw a 35% increase in new account followers in comparison to the previous year. In its first year, Pixar’s Threads account accumulated over 1.1M followers. 

We dramatically increased the amount of video content on Instagram in 2023 as a means to reach new audiences through the Reels function. As a result, we saw a 41% increase in video views in comparison to 2022. 

More than that, the sentiment surrounding our refreshed brand voice and content strategy has largely been received well and we are excited to continue to test, experiment, and play more in this area in 2024.


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