Disney just completed a solar farm in the outline of — you guessed it — murine cranial features. That the solar farm is in the shape of the Mouse is, of course, a branding thing — another step in the march that ends with Disney cleaving the moon in two using the orbital detritus to fashion circular ears. But it’s still worth looking twice because this is an admirably forward-looking public relations stunt. As humans, consumers all, spend more time seeing their world from the sky through drones, satellite imagery, and thick space station glass, expect an increasing number of marketer to blast their brands heavenward.
The farm is 48,000 solar panels across 20 acres, with an energy output of five megawatts, according to builder Duke Energy Florida. That a large structure forms an image from above is a tradition that dates back to cruciform churches and the Nazca Lines in the Peruvian desert. But with the advent of Google Maps and the DJI Phantom quadcopter, it’s becoming more important than ever to have shit look awesome from above.
How this will pay off in Orlando remains to be seen. Disney is notoriously tetchy about drones in its air space, be it near the Magic Kingdom or new Star Wars sets. But it’s easy to see other, “edgier” brands hopping on the UAV train. How long until Mountain Dew makes a logo out of a skate park or Red Bull makes a logo out of series of snowboard parks.