Pixar Animation Studios has delivered some of the most beloved and commercially successful animated films of the last 20 years. Its latest release, Inside Out, was a completely original concept that gives a unique insight into human psychology. The idea that we are all guided by five core emotions – Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear & Disgust – living in “Headquarters” is something that is relatable to all.
In order to compete in a sequel and franchise driven market OMD needed to ensure the campaign reached and engaged with a broad audience, encompassing non-families – for whom animated movies are often pigeon-holed as being “for kids” – as well as families, positioning the film as smart, funny and accessible for each audience in a relevant way.
Whether you are 5 or 50 you are guided by your emotions and they are extremely powerful when it comes to influencing decisions and motivating actions. Equally important, communications that make an emotional connection are almost twice as effective (IPA, The Long and Short of it.)
To overcome the challenge among non-families the agency aimed to develop a campaign focusing on the concept of the five emotions and with smart, sophisticated humour and relevance at its core. It was crucial to ensure that every element of the campaign would feel relevant to the consumer to whom it was targeted, be that an 18 year old girl doing her A-levels or a 29 year old man coming up to a milestone birthday.
OMD needed a unifying direction to enable it to connect with multiple and varied audiences but in a relevant and topical manner for each.
The output would be an entire campaign you could FEEL, by delivering smart and relevant content and experiences tapping into and stirring audiences’ own emotions during their daily lives:
• The campaign captured and reflected people’s existing emotions.
• The content responded to its environment and context of the moment.
• The characters reacted to key cultural moments, allowing audiences to express their own emotions and share how they were feeling with their friends.
This strategy enabled OMD to tailor its communications to deliver the emotional connection in three phases:
1. To explain the core concept.
2. To introduce the five characters / emotions.
3. To seed the emotions into popular culture and consumers’ daily lives in a unique, relevant and engaging way.
Here is a small selection of regional and local executions developed and implemented to seed the emotions into relevant everyday environments:
- To tap into the emotional highs and lows of talent shows, OMD partnered with ‘Germany’s Got Talent’. Successful auditions were followed by Joy interstitials, whereas failures featured Anger or Sadness, depending on the performer’s reaction.
- To reflect people’s moods it partnered with Spotify and served Inside Out play-lists and content based on listeners’ music choices (UK & DE).
- To trigger an emotion for every occasion the agency created real time and contextually relevant content dependant on the weather, the news, the day of the week and the time of day, on digital OOH and online in every market.
- To capitalise on digital content’s ability to illicit strong emotional reactions OMD took over response and comments buttons on key partner sites e.g. Pathfinder (Greece) and Expressen (Sweden). It introduced the relevant emotions alongside entertainment and editorial content, using keyword targeting to gauge the article’s sentiment.
- To respond to how people were feeling OMD used digital OOH sites fitted with facial recognition to identify the passersby’s mood and select the relevant character content to display (Spain)
- To enable people to share their emotions it created character sharing stickers in partnership with iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts (France)
- To enhance people’s emotions at cultural moments the agency created content at and around events e.g. Father’s day (EMEA), Glastonbury (UK) & Rock am Ring festival (DE).
Cinemagoers fell in love with Inside Out, leading to a gross EMEA box office of $240m, making it the 4th biggest original Pixar release of all time across the region (and the 5th biggest overall).
It was the #1 Pixar movie of all time, surpassing Finding Nemo and Toy Story 3, in four markets, including being the biggest film of 2015 in Italy.
In Germany, it was the 3rd highest grossing Pixar movie ever, smashing forecasts by a massive 56%.
The photo booth achieved 6.5 million impacts and four million Facebook interactions, even being enjoyed by celebrities on a Spanish talk show.
The contextual posts on Facebook achieved double the engagement targets, with “Monday / Disgust” the top performer at 9.37% CTR.
The Spotify emotional playlist achieved a 97% listen-through rate, capturing the mood of the users perfectly.
And finally, to illustrate the campaign’s overall success in connecting with non-families in addition to the traditional core of parents and kids, Inside Out achieved the highest non-family share of any Disney or Pixar animation ever in every market, in some cases with non-families out-numbering families.
The e-motion picture had truly tapped into audiences’ own emotions to deliver a winning result!