Millions of kids and adults around the world have a passion for all things Disney that at times borders on the religious. But there’s a rough patch for some Disney fans, post-childhood, when being obsessed with Mickey Mouse, Goofy and princesses doesn’t play well with one’s too-cool-for-school peers.
For them, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI) created Disney Style, a two-and-a-half-year-old, multi-platform digital brand designed to show Gen Z and young millennial women hip, trendy ways to express their Disney love through fashion, lifestyle and beauty.
To help further that cause, DCPI is launching “Destination: Disney Style,” a new five-part series premiering today on YouTube in which four digital influencers — LaurDIY, Jaleesa Moses, Meredith Foster and Lucy & Lydia — travel to different parts of the globe to uncover and explore recent international Disney collaborations, street styles and trends.
“The Disney Style audience is very tribal,” said Michael Hundgen, director of content strategy and editorial for DCPI. “And we think of this as a way to expand our larger Disney Style tribe to include all new kinds of folks who may come in through some of the influencers that we brought on board.”
In the first episode, titled “Tokyo Disney Street Style,” DCPI compounds the synergies by having host Lauren Riihimaki (a.k.a. LaurDIY; pictured) visit its theme parks Disney Expo Japan, Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea, as well as explore the way Harajuki Girls incorporate Disney into their Tokyo street style looks. Other episodes have hosts visiting Shanghai, London and New York.
One of the synergies absent from the series is the use of talent from Maker Studios, the MCN purchased by Disney in March 2014 in a deal worth $675 million, now a division of DCPI.
In Sept. 2015, DCPI launched a new line of “Star Wars” merchandise with a global live stream unboxing featuring a diverse lineup of creators from its 60,000-member Maker network. But the four digital influencers featured in “Destination: Disney Style” are all non-Maker talent.
A DCPI rep said they tried to get Maker creators for the show, but the timing didn’t work out this time, and they will likely feature members of its network in future seasons of the series.
The series was produced in-house at DCPI by a group it refers to as its “digitalogists.”
“Over the past several years, we’ve been building a team within [DCPI] who understand the internet first and foremost,” said Hungden. “So whether they edit, produce or write or they’re a social strategist or a data expert, we expect that they have the ability to wear multiple hats and they know how to speak the language of the internet and that they can conceive, execute and distribute things across our networks.”
The 3 to 5-minute episodes of “Destination: Disney Style” will debut on the Disney Style YouTube channel every Tues. at 10 a.m. PT in August. Supplemental series content will be distributed across Disney Style’s Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts, as well as its owned sites, which feature ecommerce in addition to editorial content.
“On Snapchat, we actually snapped from the locations themselves as we went along, but they’ll be cut down for Facebook, as well as some of the other platforms that Disney Style manages,” Hundgen explained. “And the larger network is also celebrating style and travel throughout this month. We timed other content like, for example, Disney-themed Bento boxes to [come out in conjunction with] the Toyko episode, so we’re really trying to leverage the breadth and scope of the network in the celebration of global Disney style.”