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Airbnb’s New Campaign Targets the 66% of New Yorkers Who’ve Never Heard of It

@SamShankman

Jun 13, 2014 2:00 pm

Skift Take

Airbnb has built a narrative around its business that is one of the more compelling in the business.

— Samantha Shankman

Free Report: The Changing Business of Extended-Stay Hotels

Airbnb  / YouTube

Airbnb's new video ad features Carol Williams, a host in lower Manhattan. Airbnb / YouTube


Airbnb has a new New York City campaign that’s aimed directly at raising awareness of the platform and attracting new users.

In an email to Airbnb users in New York sent Thursday night, global head of community Douglas Atkin wrote, “I want to update you on an exciting initiative launching today to help New Yorkers get to know the Airbnb community better.” Atkin is also a co-founder of the sharing industry lobbying group Peers.

He describes Airbnb’s coming video campaign and the company’s efforts to highlight the benefits of Airbnb for hosts and the city.

“In New York, almost two thirds of people haven’t heard of Airbnb yet. Instead, a small minority of people in New York have been painting a misinformed picture of who you are as hosts.”

The first campaign video features Carol, a wife and mom, who started renting out a spare room when she lost her job. She is loved by her neighbors, makes a mean pancake, and is genuinely interested in teaching her guests about local culture.

Hosts like Carol that rent out spare rooms are a minority of Airbnb’s business in New York. The majority of Airbnb’s revenue comes from whole-home or apartment rentals. (For a more in-depth look at this data and findings, see here and here.)

The campaign comes a few weeks after Airbnb reached an agreement with the New York Attorney General that will allow the state access to host information related to those who are violating short-term housing laws or not reporting income for tax purposes.

Below is the video profile of New York City host Carol Williams. This is the longer version, but Airbnb also made a 30-second TV spot out of the footage.

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