It seems like every marketer wants to talk about “branded community.” Disney just plans to take the concept back into the physical world with a literal Palm Springs “enclave” called Storyliving.
Just normal stuff. Right?
Not quite. This news reads as dystopian to many of the 16K+ quote-retweeters above.
Why is Storyliving unsettling?
- The website copy makes us feel trapped. “This brilliant living painting is not only fueled by its own dynamic energy, but empowers all who live here,” the Storyliving site proclaims. We’re not sure we want to live in a painting. Sorry!
- Residents will likely be “Disney adults.” Enough said.
- Storyliving implies Storycrime and Storydisease. We see lots of jokes on Twitter about Disney policing and “the Mickey Mouse psych ward” — both of which feel jarringly off-brand. (Though Disney security already exists at Disney’s theme parks.)
- It feels like an invasive new kind of brand extension. It’s not quite new, though. Disney built a branded town in the ‘90s: Celebration, Florida, a pastel planned community now owned by a private equity firm.
Brands build digital communities, but physical ones? Twitter isn’t quite ready for that.
Though maybe us haters will change our tune when we see Storyliving’s “creative oasis” for ourselves. 🤷♀️