Airbnb opens itself up as platform for brands with ‘Night At’ portal | M&M Global

Airbnb opens itself up as platform for brands with ‘Night At’ portal

Airbnb is looking to engage brands and agencies, as part of plans to offer more bespoke, premium accommodation experiences on the platform, its co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky has revealed.

Brian Chesky being interviewed by Hearst Magazine's Joanna Coles
Brian Chesky being interviewed by Hearst Magazine’s Joanna Coles

Speaking at the Cannes Lions 2016 festival, Chesky explained the challenging origins of the brand, with Airbnb emerging from an idea to offer visitors to a design conference an air bed for the night.

He told Joanna Coles, editor in chief for Cosmopolitan at Hearst Magazines, it was the “worst idea that ever worked”, having admitted that he and his co-founder Joe Gebbia had “launched” Airbnb no fewer than four times.

Rather than portraying Airbnb as a tourism brand, Chesky insisted the company had tapped into a wider spirit among Millennials to experience the world, rather than own it: “We did not invent the notion of people staying [in other people’s] homes. But post-World War Two, things became industrialised, and we trusted big mass brands. What is happening now is we are started to trust other people.

“I think in the future we will be very mobile. This notion that we live somewhere 50 weeks a year, and then two weeks a year go on holiday, I think that is going to change. Almost 20% of the trips [booked through Airbnb] are 30 days or longer. This is a huge movement. It’s not so much about ownership, as about access,” said Chesky.

“We are living in an experience-based economy. This is going to change so many things in the world.”

After screening two of Airbnb’s previous ad campaigns, including its ‘Mankind’ film, Chesky said Airbnb had succeeded by positioning itself as an optimistic brand with a worldly view.

“There is a lot of distrust in the world, but there are people who are kind, and will open up their doors. We didn’t create trust, but we allowed everyone to have an identity. We wanted to make it not about the space; the magic of Airbnb – the movement – is about the people,” he added.

“Our inherent belief that people are fundamentally good. Wherever you go, you shouldn’t be an outsider.”

Chesky concluded by revealing a new platform,, which encourages brands and agencies to create unique accommodation experiences for consumers – inspired by a recreation of one of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings by Leo Burnett and The Art Institute of Chicago.

“What is a technology CEO doing at Cannes? We don’t even sell ads,” he mused. “I’ve always believed in the power of creativity to change the world. It is incredibly important.

“We want to turn [‘Night At’] into a platform. People want to have an intimate connection to a brand. There is nothing more intimated than sleeping in their home, stepping inside it. We would love to open this up to any creative person.”

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply