STAY WITH PRIDE

TitleSTAY WITH PRIDE
ClientAIRBNB
Product / ServiceAIRBNB
CategoryA08. Sponsorship
EntrantWHYBIN\TBWA GROUP SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
Entrant Company WHYBIN\TBWA GROUP SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
Advertising Agency WHYBIN\TBWA GROUP SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
PR Agency N2N COMMUNICATIONS Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Production Company ALFRED Sydney, AUSTRALIA

The Campaign

Airbnb briefed us to help leverage its sponsorship of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, making sure to align with the global brand strategy to show Airbnb’s network of hosts lets you find interesting places to stay and ‘belong anywhere’. Our strategy was to literally demonstrate Airbnb’s brand belief that people can ‘belong anywhere’ and to create a unique experience – the world’s first liveable house-float – that would be just as interesting and sharable to consumers as traditional media and bloggers. We worked with interior designers to create a liveable space with mezzanine bedroom, lounge and garden. To drive sign-ups we listed it on Airbnb and gave the public a chance to stay in it. We revealed the float to media outside the Sydney Opera House to create mass media and drive entries. Then we toured the house to major LGBTI events, notably Harbour Party in the lead-up to Mardi Gras. We used Airbnb’s owned social media channels and our own platform to spread the word and invited Aussie Airbnb ‘hosts’ to participate in the event, turning them into our influencers. The winning couple were met by TV, news and travel media on the morning of their stay. That evening, we took them to Mardi Gras with hundreds of Airbnb hosts to dance alongside them to experience the world’s biggest gay and lesbian parade. The campaign achieved tangible success for Airbnb, which converted into hard sales. Bookings were up 20% over forecast during the campaign and beyond.

The Brief

The goal was to drive an increase in bookings to Airbnb by 10% and raise the awareness of the brand through traditional media and social engagement. The primary target audience were members of the LGBTI community. Research found them to be affluent interstate travellers – more likely to embrace the diverse nature of Airbnb's offering than stay in a bland hotel chain. We researched several lesbian and gay events that would form passionate calendar moments to directly engage them whilst maximising our limited budget. We needed an idea that built on Airbnb’s brand ethos of ‘belong anywhere’.

Results

The campaign achieved tangible success for Airbnb, which converted into hard sales. Bookings were up 20% over forecast during the campaign and beyond as a direct result. The campaign secured over 80 pieces of earned media coverage including quality, syndicated pieces across Australia’s two main news networks News Corp and Fairfax; several TV pieces including a two-minute piece on Channel 7, Channel 9 and SBS; and front page of mX (the only commuter paper in the country). The majority of the coverage had links directly to the Airbnb page. The story was also mentioned in Japan, Russia and France media and blogs. As well, it generating significant social media impact for an Australian campaign – 303,800 people reached directly via Facebook with 3.939 million Twitter impressions. It also generated positive word-of-mouth for the brand evidenced by positive sentiment in tweets and Facebook likes.

Execution

We constructed the world's first liveable house-float; working with interior designers to create a liveable space with mezzanine bedroom, lounge and garden. To drive sign-ups we listed it on Airbnb, offering a chance to stay in it. Weeks before the parade, we revealed the float to media outside Sydney’s Opera House to create mass media. We kept up the excitement through activations at major LGBTI events such as Harbour Party, and tailored media pitches about everything from the interior to the in-house drag queen. The winning couple were met by TV, news and travel media on the morning of their stay. That evening, we took them to Mardi Gras with hundreds of Airbnb hosts to dance alongside them to experience the world’s biggest gay and lesbian parade. It was captured as content with the message #StayWithPride and further distributed to media, as well as used on our social channels.

The Situation

Airbnb was new to the Australian market and briefed us to help leverage its sponsorship of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, making sure to align with the global brand strategy to show Airbnb’s network of hosts lets you find interesting places to stay and ‘belong anywhere’. The challenge was to ‘own’ the Mardi Gras sponsorship and turn it from a one-night event, where a limited number of people see your brand, to ‘owning’ the event and making sure everyone around the country could engage with the brand. All within a limited budget in a crowded advertising landscape.

The Strategy

Our strategy was to literally demonstrate Airbnb’s brand belief that people can ‘belong anywhere’ and to create a unique experience – the world’s first liveable house-float – that would be just as interesting and sharable to consumers as traditional media and bloggers. We knew our LGBTI audience are driven by passion for music and design, so we identified key events and media to establish a network of influencers in the lead-up to Mardi Gras. We then used Airbnb’s owned social media channels and our own platform to spread the word and invited Aussie Airbnb ‘hosts’ to participate in the event, turning them into our influencers. The final Mardi Gras parade became a chance to show off this world-first and tell the story of our winners to media, bloggers and the rest of Australia – and even the world.

Credits

Name Company Position
Gary McCreadie Whybin\TBWA Group Sydney Executive Creative Director
Wesley Hawes Whybin\TBWA Group Sydney Executive Creative Director
Russ Tucker Digital Arts Network Sydney Creative Director
Brandon Mugar Whybin\TBWA Group Sydney Creative Director
Liz Harper Digital Arts Network Sydney Managing Director
Caroline Millar Integer Sydney Project Manager
Nick Lilley Whybin\TBWA Group Sydney Senior Producer
Kristy Fransen Whybin\TBWA Group Sydney Broadcast & Content Producer
Stuart Couzens Alfred Executive Producer
Sam Spry Alfred Producer
Nathan Taylor Alfred Set Designer
James Horan James Horan Photography Photographer
Sharath Ravishankar Blunt Gorilla Producer
Markus Wills Blunt Gorilla Director
Bruno Kataoka Blunt Gorilla Director Of Photography
Adam Taylor Blunt Gorilla Music
Stu Wragg N2N Communications Strategic Consultant
Ben Wicks N2N Communications Strategic Consultant
Ben Mulcahy Pink Media Group Managing Director
Eva Ross Airbnb Local Operations Lead Australia & New Zealand