Airbnb's new ad is getting all sorts of compliments -- if you believe that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The spot, which launched last week, has already spawned several parodies.
The original ad, by TBWA/Chiat/Day, features a baby toddling towards a doorway as a voiceover by actress Angela Bassett poses the question "Is man kind? ... are we good?" It goes on to challenge us to "go look through their windows so you can understand their views, sit at their tables so you can share their tastes" and so forth, in order to find out.
Airbnb has worked hard, in previous ads such as "Never a Stranger," to dispel people's fears about staying in someone else's home. But to some viewers, the spot's suggestion that finding a handy place to stay could actually make us better people seemed to be a step too far.
The latest (and funniest) ad to parody the spot, from digital agency Portal A, features a creepy, flabby guy in a pair of white underpants walking towards a door as the narrator voices probably our worst nightmares about letting some stranger loose in our apartment.
"He left pubic hair in your bed … he found your panties and tried them on …" and so forth. The ad ends with the slogan "It's his house now" and the hashtag #creepy.
The Verge also did its own parody, setting the ad to some lines from the Terrence Malick movie "Tree of Life" after suggesting that the ad's voiceover "aspires for Terrence Malick by way of Don Draper."
Meanwhile another somewhat gruesome effort from editor and illustrator Steven Dupre seems to be comparing the baby's toddle to the glowing doorway to another kid's journey -- in "The Shining."