Airbnb to roll out new global brand platform

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 3 March 2016
Treehouse property in Atlanta, GA, United States

Airbnb is prepping the roll out of a major brand platform that will form the basis of its marketing communications as well as its product services for the next few years.

The travel site, which provides a way for hosts to rent out their spare rooms or homes to travellers around the world, is aiming to extend its reach beyond accommodation. It plans to introduce services that give travellers access to local gyms and other services in the local area when they stay with an Airbnb property. Global CMO Jonathan Mildenhall says it will be an “end-to-end” travel experience. It could also include travel, car sharing and local eateries.

The concept first emerged last month with Airbnb's content partnership with Disney, that saw scenes from the upcoming release of Jungle Book promote Airbnb's tree house properties under the banner 'Love this? Live there'. The idea is that when you travel with Airbnb, you're not just staying the night – you are living there, Mildenhall tells AdNews.

Mildenhall says the shift in the brand's messaging over the last year has shifted dramatically, which underlines how fast awareness and acceptance of Airbnb is growing.

“Even last year, we thought that it was appropriate for Airbnb to be talking about 'never a stranger' [the idea that Airbnb guests are staying in strangers' homes was the basis of the 2015 ad campaign] but we’ve grown up so much in the last year that the idea of still banging on about strangers seems a little at odds with how big the business is. So now I've got the luxury of instead of pushing up against the tension, we can romanticise the experience of staying at an Airbnb.”

The proposition will gradually roll out and the 'Live there' concept will be the “north star” of the brand's marketing. The bulk of the creative is currently being shot in a number of cities globally.

“You’ll see more of it a the end of the year, particularly the services side of things. (It's like a complete end-to-end travel experiences. You’re going to see wok and products that transcends accommodation so we can really build this notion that when you travel on Airbnb you really feel like you’re living there,” he says.

“Right now I'm in this amazing house on Crown Street in Darlinghurst. I’m at the local gym and coffee shop and genuinely feel like I’m living here [in Sydney].”

Read an exclusive profile interview with Airbnb's global CMO Jonathan Mildenhall in the next print issue of AdNews out tomorrow (5 March). Subscribe here or get it first thing tomorrow on the iPad.

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