Our theme today is about acceptance and love! We will look into how Airbnb leverages influential events and social ads to establish a brand.
Super Bowl, a huge party for many Americans, is the most expensive yet commercially valuable global sporting event. Price of its live TV advertising has surpassed 5 million per 30 seconds. In the Super Bowl final last week, Airbnb has launched a 30-second ad, “We Accept”, which is interpreted as a strong signal of Airbnb’s position on President Trump’s latest executive orders.
The video ad uses profile pictures of Airbnb’s users from different races as background, short yet straightforward texts: “We believe, no matter who you are, where you are from, who you love, or what you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.” The only animation of the video is, when the background changes from one profile picture to another one, the two faces merge as shown in the following. Although without fancy animation, the video tells a strong story and express Airbnb’s philosophy, that everyone should be accepted, regardless of race, gender, and religion.
According to ZingFront SocialPeta’s data, Airbnb’s “We Accept” video was put onto Youtube one day after Super Bowl final. Within 3 days, it has over 4 million views. Meanwhile Airbnb also started large scale of Facebook ads with the video. Within 3 days it has reached hundreds millions of people, and influence is even greater. Over 11 millions of people have finished watching the video ad, and 320 thousands people have left their comments. It’s a perfect example of how good videos go viral on social platforms.
To establish the brand “We Accept”, Airbnb also published a series of theme posts on its Facebook page. Its users, with different race and gender, tells their own experience, feeling, and interpretation of “We Accept”.
For example, an Asian boy says, “I don’t need categorization or labels to make sense of who I am or what I am. And that’s okay. I am just a human being finally comfortable in my own skin.” With this sentence is a photo of his face and eyes, peaceful, calm, yet firm.
Another Middle East gentleman says, “I think now more than ever, it’s more important to speak up and show the world that the idea of acceptance can be a force that unites us. We can show the world that we are one human race, one people.”
A black woman says, “I’ve often felt that it takes a while for people to see who I truly am. To look beyond the fact that I’m black or that I’m a woman and simply see me as an individual with dreams and aspirations that are similar to their own.”
A white man says, “I was in Iraq in 2003 providing security for journalists and the area we were in came under heavy fire from insurgents. It was a time I will always remember as finding acceptance when I least expected it: the Iraqi family who hosted us in their home helped protect us.”
Airbnb has been advocating the philosophy and lifestyle of human nature integration for a long time. The Super Bowl ad “We Accept” is fully aligned with that philosophy. Before Super Bowl, Airbnb’s ads on Faebook mainly promote that lifestyle. For example, the following ad asks people to select from Airbnb’s 40 thousands tree houses, plan their summer vacation, and dream big together with Airbnb.
Therefore, to establish a brand, companies need to leverage a variety of communication channels, especially those influential events and social media; tell a consistent brand story; and be patient. Airbnb’s “We Accept” campaign is a raw model of brand development for companies who are interested in setting up their own brand with social platforms.