Disney’s second director Bruce Vaughn lands at Airbnb
Bruce Vaughn, former creative director of Walt Disney Imagineering, has been chosen to lead Airbnb’s new experiential creative products team as the hosting giant tries to deliver ‘offline’ experiences to guests, c that is, beyond just a place to stay.
He reports to Catherine Powell, Global Head of Hosting at Airbnb, a long-time former Disney Parks executive who joined Airbnb last year. “I had the pleasure of working with Bruce at Disney and he’s the master of immersive storytelling,” said Powell, former president of the Western Disney Parks region, which included Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris. “He was able to bring a story to life through all aspects of the Disney park experience, from the rides to the food to the shopping. I look forward to working with him to bring these unique connections to our guests and hosts, ”she said.
Vaughn is a Dreamscape Immersive veteran who uses virtual reality to create location-based entertainment. Previously at Walt Disney Imagineering, he led the integrated creative teams of WDI, Disney’s Creative Entertainment and WDI Research and Development, overseeing product development and innovation in theme park attractions, special effects, theatrical experiences and new business opportunities. Leverage technology.
Airbnb says its ‘experiential’ push comes from the fact that key groups, namely Gen Y and Gen Z, are increasingly choosing to spend time and money on local and authentic experiences, rather than to consumer goods. Airbnb’s Experiences division was launched in 2016 and, it says, has seen increased interest in part due to the isolation of the long pandemic.
She gave few details of her plans in Vaughn’s announcement, but when she hired Powell, the company described Cooking Experiences (“from learning grandma’s recipes to traditional Uzbek cooking at home “) and Animal Experiences (” helping people better understand animals by caring for them, guided by hosts “). Vaughn will design and deliver immersive experiences on Airbnb for experiences and stays.
“We are a creatively led company and Bruce brings with him enormous creative firepower to help us design exciting new ways of hosting,” Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb.