Airbnb Really Wants You To Experience Your Destination Like A Local

Airbnb tries to expand its reach to primetime by selling your ability to wake up in L.A., Paris, or Tokyo like you live there.

WHAT: The first TV ads from Airbnb’s new campaign, in which the company attempts to entice travelers to L.A. Paris, or Tokyo–or anywhere else people are listing their living spaces on the service–by capitalizing on the fact that staying in an Airbnb makes you feel like more of a local.


WHO: TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, Airbnb

WHY WE CARE: As Airbnb continues to grow, the company aims to redefine itself as a “community-driven superbrand,” as CMO Jonathan Mildenhall told Co.Create last fall. Part of that has been about introducing the brand’s core values to both travelers and hosts–framed around the concept of “belong anywhere.” Last year, that involved lofty advertising that asked big, philosophical, community-college-debate-team questions like, “Is man good?”

But in this campaign, it takes the idea of belonging in a more practical direction: Whether you’re going to L.A. or Tokyo or Paris–to name just three of the 32,000 cities in which Airbnb offers listings–Airbnb wants to give you a place to stay that’s not just somewhere to sleep, but a place among locals, owned by locals, where a local might live. That’s a more nuts-and-bolts way to communicate that brand value, and it works well in these spots, which have just enough local flavor to make the idea of traveling via Airbnb and living the local life seem earned.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.