Airbnb just made a whole lot of people want to sleep in a stranger’s house and here’s why:
If you’re not familiar with Airbnb, they are a company that connects travelers with places to stay for reasonable prices. Because these places can be someone’s apartment in a giant city or airstream trailer in the desert, Airbnb users tend to be adventurous, open minded, and passionate about community.
So, when Airbnb hired architects to turn some of their users’ favourite places to stay into houses for migratory birds, it was destined to be a viral marketing hit.
Fast Co.’s Carey Dunne writes:
“Airbnb’s latest commercial could double as a pilot for ‘Pimp My Birdhouse’ (a new show on Animal Planet?). The ‘community-driven hospitality company,’ as they call themselves on their website, hired seven artists to create tiny birdhouse renditions of their 50 most intriguing listings worldwide. And then they hung these beautiful tiny homes from a tree known as the Tree of Life in New Orleans’ Audubon Park, filled them with seed, and filmed the local avian community in the lap of luxury.
Called ‘Birdbnb,’ the commercial is part of Airbnb’s first integrated national ad campaign. San Francisco-based design firm Pereira & O’Dell created the feel-good short film in collaboration with music video director Alma Har’el.
‘The idea started with the idea of birds as the ultimate traveler, constantly migrating, with birdhouses as a metaphor for the homes of Airbnb hosts,’ PJ Pereira tells Co.Design. ‘Hosts put so much love into their homes, and we wanted to represent that somehow. The ad shows birdhouses being made with a crazy level of attention to detail, which is what Airbnb hosts do for the homes where they receive guests.’
The lilliputian properties include a wheeled gypsy caravan, painted in whimsical paisley; a mushroom dome cabin; and a rainbow sherbet-colored San Francisco home painted in green, magenta, and red.
‘What makes a home feel like a home?’ asks one of the commercial’s meditative narrators. ‘When someone’s individuality and personality is reflected in the design of the house,’ answers another. The film ends with the artists joyfully playing music around the park’s Tree of Life bedazzled with twinkle lights while the birds move into their new homes. The website offers peeks behind the scenes of the film and photographs of all 50 original properties and their mini-me counterparts.
‘Airbnb is not for everyone–it’s for people with a sense of adventure looking for a special kind of trip, looking to live closer to locals,’ Pereira says. ‘Anyone can go find a hotel, but if you’re looking for a place with a soul, there’s nothing like Airbnb. This ad makes a clear statement of the kind of trip Airbnb is promising–one with a sense of adventure and personality.’