Airbnb is extending its “Is Man Kind?” campaign, which argues in favor of the essential goodness of house-renting humans, with a “Daily Kindness Bulletin”, a short news show, delivering upbeat stories of kindness.
The move follows a survey the company conducted with pollsters YouGov across America, the U.K. and Australia. Two-thirds of respondents said most to all of the people they know tend to be kind. However, the number fell to less than half when asked about the kindness of society in general.
The mathematically impossible discrepancy in those numbers led Airbnb to believe that in the age of widespread digital connectivity the proportion of “hostile-spirited” news stories wrongly outweighs the number of positive ones. In the same survey, when asked about the balance of positive to negative stories encountered online, most respondents thought there were too many negative stories and overwhelmingly wanted more positive ones.
The influence of online was cited in the survey, with most people saying they witness unkindness in their social networks at least once a week. Almost two thirds (59%) of U.S. respondents in the survey believe society has become unkinder in their lifetime and more than half (51%) blame the Internet.
To counteract this and meet the appetite for positive news stories, Airbnb has teamed up with Dr. Simon-Thomas, Science Director of the University of Berkeley Greater Good Science Center to produce a daily news program covering only positive stories.
The “Daily Kindness Bulletin,” the first of which was published July 22 on Airbnb’s YouTube channel, is fronted by veteran British news anchor Peter Sissons, who led the BBC’s flagship evening news program from 1993 to 2003. During his introduction to the first bulletin, Sissons says: “We’ve uncovered a number of incredible stories that show man is kind more often than not, that many go the extra mile, and that not all news is bad news.”
The debut broadcast covers a man who is paralyzed from the waist down using equipment that allows him to walk for the first time, the birthday celebrations of a 116-year-old New Yorker, who is known for her generosity, and the touching tale of two rescue dogs, one of which is blind, with the other acting as his guide.
The news program is the latest strand in Airbnb’s “Is Man Kind?” campaign, which launched on July 15. Referring then to the campaign, Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall said: “We believe in humanity and we’re putting that humanity and truth into the soul of our marketing.”