Best of Branded Content: Airbnb’s Content Marketing Takes FlightBy Kelly Woo December 18th, 2013
Every week, we want to highlight a brand that’s telling amazing stories. This week, it’s Airbnb’s first major content campaign.
Red Bull, the gold standard in brand storytelling, is laser-focused on giving people wings. In its first big branded content push, Airbnb wants to give those with wings a home.
With the help of the agency Pereira & O’Dell, Airbnb commissioned a team of artists to create birdhouses that featured every minute detail of 50 homes — located in Joshua Tree, Iceland, the Philippines, and Portugal, among other places. The birdhouses were then installed at Audubon Park’s Bird Island in New Orleans, and featured on Birdbnb.com. That process is documented in a short film that will air in select movie theaters, as well as during the Travel Channel’s “Mysteries at the Museum” on Dec. 19.
“The whole idea of traveling is an important thing for me, and I realized the ultimate travelers are birds,” said P. J. Pereira, Chief Creative Officer of Pereira & O’Dell. “Those little, fragile things are always traveling — how wonderful it would be to actually celebrate them and use them as icons.”
Both the two-minute video and the longer 4:45 version are folksy feel-good stories that emphasize the vast, breathtaking array of Airbnb’s rental options (if you’ve always wanted to stay in a covered wagon, search in Saint Keverne, UK). As one of the artists says, “Every person has a story. Every object has a story. Every space has a story.” The videos end with a rousing singalong and the campaign’s official title, “Every Traveler Deserves a Home.”
Birdbnb.com also features behind-the-scenes videos and info on the artists and the director, Alma Har’el.
The campaign is an intriguing piece of storytelling that communicates AirBnB’s unique value proposition. “We created these birdhouses inspired by real Airbnb homes and the accompanying film as a metaphor for the hospitality about which our company is built,” said Amy Curtis-McIntyre, Airbnb’s CMO.
The film is also finely tuned to Airbnb’s target audience. According to the New York Times, “Curtis-McIntyre said the campaign was aimed at people who are ‘youthful, adventurous, very social and big travelers.'”
Created with a budget of just $2 million, this epic piece of brand storytelling is generating a ton of buzz already.
What’s the deal with the Content Strategist? It’s something we created at Contently because we believe in a world where marketing is helpful, and businesses grow by telling stories that people love. Take advantage of our tools and talent and come build that world with us.Image by Adam_Inglis/ Flickr.com