Airbnb Launches First Global Ad Campaign in Nine Markets

Effort Includes Out-of-Home, In-Cinema Mobile and Digital -- including Facebook and Twitter

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Airbnb is underway with its first global ad campaign, promoting the service in nine markets on three continents.

Developed by Airbnb's agency of record Pereira & O'Dell, the campaign -- dubbed "Views" -- depicts scenes from the windows of hosts' homes around the world. It will run in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Brazil and China on digital and mobile, as well as in-cinema, in-flight and in out-of-home placements, through early June.

It includes a 60-second spot, along with 30- and 15-second cuts, and display ads that link back to microsites where people can peruse bookable Airbnb listings in their native language. The ads will appear on publishers including AFAR, YouTube, Dwell, Lonely Planet, Buzzfeed, the BBC, Facebook and Twitter.

The campaign seeks to explain Airbnb's value proposition for its online marketplace of people looking to rent their apartments, rooms and houses to short-term visitors: that traveling can be a more personal experience from within someone else's home.

"Airbnb has grown to a community of more than 350,000 individual hosts around the world," said CMO Amy Curtis-McIntyre. "We're a platform and not a hotel company, so our hosts are essentially our innkeepers. We thought it would be really interesting and authentic to have a commercial that has the hosts inviting travelers from around the world to stay with them."

She also observed that China is an important market for Airbnb, and the biggest opportunity for the company there is in intra-Asia travel to countries like Thailand and Indonesia.

"The Chinese constitute the largest slice of global tourism now," she said. "It's pure volume."

Airbnb isn't divulging spend on the campaign. Ms. Curtis-McIntyre said her team considered a U.S. cable TV buy, but "it didn't make sense for us financially."

According to Kantar Media, the brand spent $300,000 on measured media last year.

While the company is looking to grow positive awareness, it's also contending with legal challenges in big cities like New York and San Francisco, where it's already wildly popular.

"Views" is Ms. Curtis-McIntyre's final project for Airbnb. She's stepping down on June 1, and a senior marketer from Coca-Cola, Jonathan Mildenhall, is taking on the CMO mantle.

"I had always planned to ship this global campaign and then actively pursue nothing," said Ms. Curtis-McIntyre, who's previously held top marketing jobs at Old Navy and JetBlue. "I'm not pursuing other opportunities… I'm a little young to retire, but I'm retiring."

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