Airbnb has launched its new global campaign - 'Get an Airbnb' [Credit: Airbnb / Buck Animation]

Airbnb unveils global campaign to take on hotels

Worldwide: Airbnb has unveiled its latest ‘Get an Airbnb’ marketing campaign, featuring a series of animated short films that emphasise why the short-term rental platform is a better booking option than a hotel stay.

Made in collaboration with renowned global creative company Buck Animation, the short films are designed to point out Airbnb’s advantages over traditional or regular hotels, in particular when it comes to flexibility to stay where and with whom you want, provision of amenities, experiences offerings, and peace of mind for travellers.

In one such spot, the first video features a group of friends in miniature form arriving at a hotel pool that is busy with children splashing around in the water, before the setting quickly transforms into a villa complete with a private pool and more peace.

Initially running in the United States and Canada in August in digital, OTT, online video and social media formats, the campaign will roll out internationally in September, including in the UK, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

‘Get an Airbnb’ can be seen as a direct challenge to traditional hotels as more and more travellers seek to visit new destinations in the wake of pandemic-enforced lockdowns, and the platform seeks to entice new demographics towards the short-term rental segment, including groups [families and friends] and remote workers.

Airbnb’s new marketing playbook is deliberately designed to be unique and eye-catching in its delivery.

Earlier this year, the company unveiled a campaign to promote its redesigned feature for booking private rooms, specifically to target travellers seeking budget-friendly lodging options amid a cost of living crisis. In addition, Airbnb has entered into high-profile partnerships to garner worldwide attention [including with Mattel to create a Barbie Malibu Dream House that is available for booking] and collaborated with influencers and celebrities to showcase authentic travel experiences and engage with their target audience, including notable actors recently such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.

Ironically, the ‘Get an Airbnb’ campaign can be viewed in reverse to Hilton’s ‘Hilton. For The Stay’ global brand platform and ‘It Matters Where You Stay’ advertising campaign launches last August, which poked fun at short-term / vacation rentals and combined humour with highlighting the importance and security of booking a hotel stay. While Hilton president and CEO, Chris Nassetta, previously reiterated that the brand was not looking to pursue home-sharing, there have been rumours that Hilton is now looking to expand its activities in the space, as other hotel brands have done in recent years e.g. Marriott International.

Airbnb CMO Hiroki Asai told The Drum in an interview: “As Airbnb was growing, pre-pandemic, it was losing its differentiation. There were a lot of competing options for travellers out there and Airbnb was losing its uniqueness.

“So, coming out of the pandemic, the decision was to really focus on the core business and to focus on creating experiences, creating features and creating a product, to differentiate ourselves, and then to use the brand to actually communicate and teach people what those differences are,” added Asai.

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