Product / ServiceAIRBNB
CategoryB04. Publications & Brand collateral

Brief Explanation

Airbnb had handpicked 50 journalists from travel and lifestyle publications in China with the purpose of sending a special DM to these key opinion leaders who knew little or nothing about the brand. The goal was to use the press mailer to illustrate the wonder and awe of traveling with Airbnb as well as to educate these journalists on what Airbnb is about and drive them to visit a link with a curated selection of Airbnb properties. The piece had to reflect the authenticity of the brand, in a way as unique as the experience of travelling with Airbnb.

The Brief

Airbnb is one of the most dynamic and exciting start-up companies in the world. It is present in over 190 countries and has over 1,000,000 listings globally. However, in China, brand awareness is still extremely low. Even the few who have heard about the brand often did not have a clear understanding of what Airbnb is about. Our task was to reach out to opinion leaders in China – travel and lifestyle journalists - and create brand awareness in a way that would educate and excite them.

How the final design was conceived

We decided to tell the story from the beginning, transporting the recipients to the first Airbnb home rented out by its founders. Based on original photos of the first Airbnb apartment, we handcrafted a replica of its layout and interiors and brought the first Airbnb home to these journalists. True to the brand's emphasis on authenticity and attention to detail, we created the entire living room with organic materials of multiple textures. After some tests, all the miniature furniture was folded and glued by hand inside each box. Together with the client, we selected various properties in popular outbound destinations for Chinese travelers to produce a customized projector and wheel; thereby, creating the world's smallest screening room. Each of the 50 mini projectors had their focus manually adjusted and were securely attached to arrive to their destination in place.

Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market

The DM reached a 68% direct response rate, way over the industry benchmark response for this media in China. The 50 pieces generated 97 clicks-throughs to a link with Airbnb properties. The brand received numerous positive reactions from the journalists, who described the DM as 'creative and unique', 'sincere', 'the most creative present I've ever received', and said they were 'impressed by the creative gift' and 'hope to experience an Airbnb house in the future'. Lena Sönnichsen, Airbnb's Head of Communications for APAC, defined the World's Smallest Screening Room as a DM that 'Not only explains Airbnb's background, brand and benefits beautifully, it also transports the sense of quirk and whimsical magic that we are always after. Feedback from journalists in China was so amazing that we are now localising this for other markets across Asia.'


Name Company Position
Gary Steele TBWA\Singapore Creative Director
Raquel Fabienne Ang TBWA\Singapore Art Director
Claudia Riberio TBWA\Singapore Senior Copywriter
Joyce Wong TBWA\Singapore Account Director
Neha Sethi TBWA\Singapore Senior Account Executive
Rohan Lorenz TBWA\Singapore Videographer
Teo Yi Zhen TBWA\Singapore Videographer
Louiza Joseph TBWA\Singapore Traffic Executive
Chua Ang Ru Digital Arts Network Technical Lead
Teo Ren Jie eg+ worldwide Photographer
Joanna Lim eg+ worldwide Production Manager
Raul Davadilla eg+ worldwide Senior Digital Imager
Jean Abideen eg+ worldwide Art Buyer
Andrew Yeoh eg+ worldwide Studio Manager
Fione Wong eg+ worldwide FA Artist
Jonathan Mildenhall Airbnb Chief Marketing Officer
Lena Sönnichsen Airbnb APAC Head of Communications
Matthias Schuecking Airbnb APAC Head of Marketing
Elaine Toh Airbnb APAC PR Coordinator