It's pretty easy to tap into travelers' nostalgia with clichÃ©s about Paris cafes, jazz clubs, flea markets and carousels. A new video from Airbnb uses all those settings but manages to be completely charming, thanks to its use of a pre-film animation device called a zoetrope.
For a video targeted at Asian markets, Airbnb created a tiny Paris using 11,256 miniature parts and 1,680 figurines. The 3D zoetrope technique makes them look as though they are moving. (Airbnb made a Behind the Scenes video for those curious about how the zoetrope works.)
There's also a live action aspect to the film, which was shot with four different actresses to personalize it for different markets. As the company pushes into China, there's already a local Airbnb imitator called Tujia that's reportedly valued at more than $1 billion. The video's strong storytelling and handcrafted vibe might be a way to cast Airbnb as the go-to platform for travelers looking for authenticity.
The video is the work of Yippee Ki-Yay, specialists in models and miniature sets, Photoplay Film, TBWASingapore and Six Toes TV. Airbnb has tapped into a similar handspun vibe before, using a model train set in a film from TBWASingapore and production house Cirkus.