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Content Marketing Campaign of the Week: Airbnb “Hollywood & Vines” and Neighborhood Guides

airbnb_horizontal_lockup_printWe’re bringing to light what different companies in diverse industries are creating for their content marketing in our current blog series Content Marketing Campaign of the Week. Last week we talked about McDonald’s Canada’s “Our Food, Your Questions” and it’s success in creating transparency, trust, outrageous engagement and enormous bank of content. This week we’re turning our focus to the community marketplace, Airbnb.

Airbnb started in a small loft in San Francisco in 2007, and gained popularity with customers due to their original thinking and easy to use concept of travelling cheaply. Their most recent content marketing campaign has again shown the spirit of living (and promoting) within a budget while being creative.

In their short film “Hollywood & Vines,” Airbnb takes six-second Vines that were submitted by people over the world and combines them into an inspiring piece.

While the concept is simple – paper planes, origami and other paper creations “travelling” – it makes the viewer feel several contradicting emotions in less than five minutes. Here’s what I thought about while I watched it:

  • Travelling
  • Love story
  • Children
  • Loneliness
  • Adventure
  • Excitement
  • Abandonment
  • Humor (that fortune cookie made me laugh)
  • Appreciation
  • Circle of life

I also thought of common storylines that had been done, but didn’t make me feel, like the idea of a message in a bottle or the feather from Forrest Gump. It’s hard to make people feel, move them, touch them. Very few campaigns can accomplish that. But again, Airbnb used real people with real experiences. Not only did those people submit artistic work, they submitted a story. They also now have a plethora of vines at their disposal to create more videos similar to this one. And let’s not forget, they were engaging with Airbnb while doing so.

Along the same line of being engaging, Airbnb’s Neighborhood Guides allows users to find experiences they want based on their interests and specific location within a city or town. This helps Airbnb customers choose a locale to stay in based on lifestyle and interests. For instance, people may think that Venice is just a bunch of waterways with one main canal going through the center. But Neighborhoods shows six distinct areas of the city:  Castello, Cannaregio, Santa Croce, Dorsoduro, Giudecca and San Polo. Each has an image and a short description of that area. My choice is Giudecca, “Blue sea on all sides” with the added description of “No frill, Residential, Venetians, Isolated.” It goes further by giving more details about festivals, sights and local favorites.

This myriad of content is only currently indexed for 21 cities, but more are coming. Not only does this serve a purpose for customers to have a better experience planning for their travel, it also gives AirBNB a vault of content it can use across several distribution channels. Riveting photography and great storytelling are two of the most compelling aspects of content marketing, and this accomplishes both.

Do you have any favorite content marketing campaigns you think we should feature? Let us know in the comments section!

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