blue sky studios branding by motto

Blue Sky Studios

Motto x Blue Sky Studios

One of the world’s leading 3D animation studios.

Meet Blue Sky, the award-winning animators, artists and storytellers of Ice Age, Rio, Ferdinand, Robots, Epic, and Spies in Disguise. As a merger with Disney® and exciting leadership changes took hold, Blue Sky needed guidance to grow their global footprint. Motto facilitated leadership towards a new position, created an EVP to attract top talent, increased global brand recognition, and captained the brand to new horizons.

What We Did:

  Leadership workshops
  Culture analysis
  Brand strategy
  Key messaging
  Verbal + visual identity
  Animation
  Content strategy
  Social media playbook

The Mission

Create a brand that attracts top artists, navigate a Disney® merger, increase brand visibility, elevate social, and position Blue Sky as a leader. Tall order? Yes.

As one of the world’s leading animation studios, Blue Sky has been making iconic films for over 30 years––Ice Age, Rio and Ferdinand, and Spies in Disguise, just to name a few. As a purpose-driven animation studio committed to fearless filmmaking, Blue Sky creates real, relatable characters and stories that reflect what it means to be human, they’ve captured the hearts of viewers all over the world. But while many folks know their famous movies, Blue Sky has never been a household name like competitors Pixar® and Dreamworks®.

Culture + Strategy

Motto worked to align executive leaders across the C-Suite.

First, the Motto army interviewed stakeholders to understand the general sentiment. Next, we tailored a full day, on-site workshop with the executive leadership team at Blue Sky HQ. We went behind the scenes, immersed ourselves in the culture, learned how animations are made, and what makes Blue Sky so special.

What we learned was while most of the US movie industry is based in Hollywood, Blue Sky’s headquarters is nestled in woodsy Greenwich, CT. Luring top talent from the glitz and glamour to the east coast posed a challenge. Though 600+ loyal employees loved working there, Blue Sky needed a way to share the incredible culture they’d built with the world. Motto led and facilitated working sessions to make important connections to unite the brand. From those sessions, we created a roadmap that focused on showing potential recruits and industry insiders all the amazing things happening at Blue Sky and build a sense of FOMO.

Deliverables:
Leadership Interviews → Culture Immersion → Breakthrough Workshops → Insights Report

Visual Identity

Create cohesive studio brand assets for all studio related trade marketing, social media, and recruitment efforts. 

Motto created an entire brand language for the studio, including clear and easy to use brand guidelines. The goal was to not only connect to new brand positioning elements in one easy to find resource for Blue Sky employees, but also partners.

Deliverables:
Creative Brief → Logo → Graphics Package → Illustrations → Brand Style Guide → Trade Show Booth → Company Deck

Social Strategy & Design

Create a social strategy that showcases the studio culture, improves recruitment efforts, and grows the audience base.

Whether sharing production art, highlighting innovative workspaces or profiling inspiring employees, we believed that all channels should be held to the same high creative standard as their movies.

We also wanted to be careful about how we approached each platform. With a strong focus on recruitment, building out Instagram and LinkedIn were where we wanted to hit the ground running, ensuring that we were meeting talent where they consume content.

To do this effectively, we conducted a Social Immersion Workshop and shared our new strategy directly with employees at Blue Sky, we aimed to create an environment where everyone was excited to meaningfully contribute to social. The Motto team created a social strategy, posting cadence, created each month’s social media assets, managed the account and provided monthly metrics.

Deliverables:
Content Strategy → Content Cadence → Social Design Package → Posting Schedule → Animations

Metrics & Results

Motto was able to grow all social channel engagement, cadence, and platform saturation in staggering ways.

Creating channel-specific strategies that speak to both industry insiders and film enthusiasts, we are proud to have collaborated with the Blue Sky team to create a powerful force across social. Prior to Motto taking over, the feed was visually inconsistent.

We created content series like #FemaleFilmmakerFriday and #DeskOfTheMonth that showcase the magical inclusivity and creativity across the office. We’ve held AMAs and giveaways that engage excited fans. And we’ve steadily increased numbers every month.

Here is a sample of our big wins:

LinkedIn
→ Over 17k followers (growing 25%)
→ 3x monthly impressions (~90k to > 300k)
→ 3x average likes per post
→ 460% increase in comments

Twitter
→ 3x posting frequency
→ 160% increase in favorites
→ 17x increase in RTs

Facebook
→ 2x posting frequency (10 to 20x a month)
→ 4x post reach (~100k to 400k)
→ 3x post reactions (~1k to > 3k)

Instagram
→ Tripled posting frequency
→ 40% increase in comments
→ 60% in total likes

Deliverables:
Monthly Reporting

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