When Disney/Pixar needed a social solution for Inside Out, they wanted to know how to elevate the story of an 11-year girl, Riley, whose world gets turned upside down when her family moves to a new city. Five characters represented her mind: Joy, Fear, Disgust, Anger, and Sadness— each one vying for control of Riley’s thoughts as she navigates the uneasy feelings of moving from a idyllic small town to a cramped, dirty city.
The key idea for the campaign was that Riley was merely the setting for the movie, and it was the emotions living in her head deserved the spotlight. With this approach, the campaign tapped into to the complexity of her emotions and how they affected Riley’s mood as she traversed through this crisis in her life— a story all of us can relate to.
This strategy led to a successful 360 campaign complete with cross-platform social content, an EPK site, and a Tumblr that featured a UGC fan-art contest, a first for Pixar. Ultimately, the campaign made Inside Out the number one opening for an original movie in history. To top it off, Inside Out won a Gold Communicator Award for excellence in social media as well as an Academy Award™ for animation. Riley couldn't have been more ecstatic.