The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s (LACMA) Snapchat account has become a darling of social media with snaps of the museum’s artwork overlaid with irreverent pop culture quips. In the past, sculptor Auguste Rodin’s statue The Shade became a wannabe background dancer for Beyonce and Salomon de Bray’s The Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence became the new standard in "dad bod" goals. LACMA’s social media presence, particularly on Snapchat, has been heralded for dissolving any potential barriers between younger audiences and institutions they may perceive as stodgy or out-of-touch.
And now Disney wants in on some of that social media magic.
Last week, LACMA and Disney announced a bi-monthly collaboration across the @LACMA and @OhMyDisney Snapchat accounts, retelling classic Disney tales with LACMA’s art through Snapchat Stories.
"LACMA already captures that contemporary and culturally savvy voice and tone that our @OhMyDisney Snapchat audience loves, and we felt collaborating with them would be a natural way to add a little magic to art and storytelling to reach a new generation of art and Disney fans alike," says Dan Reynolds, vice president of content and audience development at Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media.
LACMA and Disney launched their collaboration with a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast over two days, two accounts, and 79 snaps, utilizing the museum’s 130,000-plus collection of artwork and artifacts.
Belle, Beast, and all that singing cutlery and furniture took on new lives as current items on display at the museum. It may not seem like a far cry from what LACMA Snapchat typically churns out (artwork + pithy caption = a snap worth screengrabbing), but Lucy Redoglia, social media manager at LACMA, says this campaign presented a new challenge of storytelling that required one thing social media isn’t really known for: patience.
"The result was beautiful and really polished but it took us a while to get there because it is a bit different than our general social media strategy in that we're telling a whole story rather than a portion of a song or a quote from the movie," Redoglia says. "This was really an adaptation of the full story of Beauty and the Beast."
Writers and editors from Disney condensed the story of Beauty and the Beast while Redoglia collaborated with their team in selecting and illustrating the artwork. Adapting an 84-minute classic in just under 80 snaps took upwards of three months to plan, including mapping out a route in the museum to snap and caption every piece of art in real-time.
"We walked over three and a half miles each day [in the museum]!" says Redoglia of the two-day campaign. "The lesson is that it pays to be patient and really wait until you get it right rather than having to rush something. My collaborator on the Disney side and I were both very open to suggestions and edits, and we kept the door to communication wide open so we could go back and forth. I think without letting it breathe and letting it evolve into something as polished as it was it wouldn't have been as successful."
Having that level of detail in something as ephemeral as Snapchat is what both LACMA and Disney hope will resonate with their followers. Classic Disney films are clearly a mainstay in pop culture, getting a boost of new life with every "Which Disney Princess Are You?" quiz or "See What Disney Characters Look Like As Hipsters!" slideshow that makes its rounds on the internet. However, through this collaboration with LACMA, Disney is having a bit more agency in how it wants its characters to live on social—and it seems they’ve found a pretty comfortable home in LACMA.
@OhMyDisney had more than 30,000 opens during the collaboration, a 10% increase for the account. There were also more than 2,000 screenshots taken from Disney’s account with a 100% screenshot rate with every snap.
"The goal of this campaign was to open up new ways for our audiences to experience Disney stories," Reynolds says. "Our larger strategy, across all of our social channels, has always been to get all things Disney to resonate on the internet. Tapping into the success of LACMA’s Snapchat Stories definitely aligns with that."
Follow LACMA and Disney on Snapchat @LACMA and @OhMyDisney for their next Snapchat Story.