Company: Airbnb

Agencies: TBWA Singapore, SixToes TV, PHD, CIRKUS PRODUCTIONS, New Zealand

Market(s): Singapore, Australia, China (including Hong Kong), Japan, Korea

Timing: November 25 – December 31, 2014

Airbnb created a delightfully quirky and literally miniature film to show that when you travel with Airbnb, the world really is a small place.

BACKGROUND

Airbnb is one of the most exciting start-up companies in the world and has over 1,000,000 listings globally. At only 7 years old, Airbnb faced a huge gap between people who had heard of the brand and those who actually knew how to use it. What’s more, this comprehension gap was even larger in Asia, a key region of growth. The brand had to be introduced in a compelling way, while educating the consumer on how to book accommodation through Airbnb.com.

THE IDEA

The world feels smaller when you travel. When you’re part of the Airbnb community, that feeling is amplified. This inspired the subsequent film: Working with 30 model-makers, Airbnb built a 852 sq. ft. landscape: 60 houses inspired by actual listings and 96 figurines — 6 of them modelled after real Airbnb guests. The entire film was shot with a camera mounted on a model train, without any use of CGI.

THE PROCESS

TBWA acted as lead creative agency for conceptualization. CIRKUS built the set and shot the film. Sixtoes TV worked on production and film translations. PHD built the campaign’s media plan.

Throughout the 9 weeks, the team of agencies worked closely with one key client who managed all internal stakeholders, facilitating speedy issue resolution and the meeting of every milestone within the timeline.

To coordinate across timezones, weekly Friday morning conference calls between TBWA, CIRKUS, Sixtoes and Airbnb updated the client, allowing delivery of consolidated feedback by Saturday, and revising from Monday to Thursday for the next review / approval on Friday.

THE RESULTS

The film was viewed at a total of 28,143,336 times. Click-through rates for desktop reached 2.75% and 2.27% for mobile (388% above industry average). Cost per view was 31% lower than category benchmarks, saving USD 100,200 in the media budget. Unaided brand awareness increased by 52% and “Welcome to Airbnb” was number 1 in Google’s organic search. The campaign also earned over USD 880,000 worth of PR, including coverage in Adweek, the Guardian, Hypebeast, Fast Company and over 80 publications.

TBWA circulated a “playbook” of film Easter eggs to incorporate into local social media campaigns. The positive results and coverage of the film has also had a global effect with Europe adapting the film to air in Russia, United Kingdom, France, Spain and Germany. This has led to another 6.4 million views (and counting)