Unique Airbnb Campaign Debuts in Cinemas

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Fri, 06/17/2016 - 12:21 -- Nick Dager

National CineMedia is distributing a unique Airbnb commercial that enables patrons to simultaneously see sides of a story.Calling it a new frontier in cinema advertising Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, is taking its Live There campaign to theaters this weekend. The split-screen experience debuted during 3D showings of summer blockbusters Finding Dory, Independence Day: Resurgence, and The Secret Life of Pets in the UK only. Moviegoers will have a first-of-its-kind, immersive experience that contrasts standardized mass tourism with the unique moments of travel and authentic experiences only possible while traveling on Airbnb.

For two weekends only in the US, UK and Australia, Airbnb’s Double Feature cinema experience, in partnership with National CineMedia in the US, Digital Cinema Media in the UK and Val Morgan in AUS, will allow moviegoers the ability to see two alternative travel experiences simultaneously by using highly specialized bifocal glasses that employ adapted 3D technology.

“The role of creative work at Airbnb is to inspire people to desire a different way to travel, one that challenges traditional tourist clichés. This incredible use of technology allows the cinemagoer to experience advertising like they never have before,” said Jonathan Mildenhall, chief marketing officer at Airbnb. “So right there, right then the Airbnb experience transports you between living like a local versus visiting like a tourist. Honestly, when my team and I went for the demo in the movie theater we were all blown away. This is the new frontier in cinematic advertising.”

Finch, an Australian production company made of filmmakers, producers, and engineers, has created a 37 Degrees innovative system that separates 2D images so that the two images can be seen simultaneously depending on the viewer’s chosen perspective. This patented technology has creatively eliminated the need for split screens or playing out points of difference one after the other, effectively showing two sides of the same story on the same screen at the same time.

Australian production company Finch created the campaign using its 37 Degrees system.The partnership with Finch was brokered by Starcom Mediavest as another way for Airbnb to continue to leverage new media and emerging technology to extend into new markets.    

"The 37 degrees technology encourages conversations. Giving the audience the power to edit between films in a cinema helps drive the creative idea of choice. Experiencing the technology feels like magic and it aligns beautifully with Airbnb," said Rob Galluzzo, founder and executive producer of Finch.

Earlier this year, Airbnb launched its largest global brand campaign to date called Live There, in response to the growing dissatisfaction and disappointment with standardized tourist offerings.

The Live There films, developed by TBWA\CHIAT\DAY, focus on three of Airbnb’s most popular cities like Paris, Tokyo and L.A. and reinforce Airbnb’s global initiative to encourage travelers to break free from the limits of cookie-cutter travel and see the world with a fresh perspective and not just visit a destination, but truly abandon the common, standardized tourist experience and “live there.”

“We want to offer travelers unique experiences that transcend cookie-cutter travel, going beyond traditional industry standards,” said Rachael Haley, brand media manager at Airbnb. “When we first started thinking about how to show the impact of different ways of travel, we wanted to choose a medium that would create a transformative experience. By partnering with Finch, we can make this dream a reality through its groundbreaking technology to create an engaging experience that brings our unique proposition to life.”

The campaign will run for two weeks in the U.S.Once the movie begins, an onscreen message will prompt the audience to put on their special glasses and instruct them to simply tilt up or down to change experiences. The Airbnb film asks, “How do you want to see Paris? How would you visit LA? How about Tokyo? Who do you want to spend time with? And when it’s all over, what would you want to remember?” as moviegoers experience different versions of the same trip depending on their personal perspective.  

“NCM relishes our role as the connector between brands and movie audiences, and this is a groundbreaking example of how we can collaborate with an agency and a client to help them tell their story in cinema in a way that simply can’t be done anywhere else,” said NCM president Cliff Marks. “The big screen is such a unique canvas, and Airbnb has painted a beautiful picture of personal travel for moviegoers to enjoy. We’re proud to be able to introduce this incredibly innovative Double Feature technology to audiences and advertisers here in the U.S.”

Pippa Glucklich, CEO Starcom UK said, “The use of 37 Degrees and the cinema medium was a natural choice to showcase the latest stage of Airbnb’s Don’t Go There, Live There. campaign. Utilizing this new technology that allows cinemagoers to create their own experience of the campaign in cinema’s unique environment where audiences are relaxed, undistracted and have paid to pay attention will ensure maximum engagement with a highly engaged audience to raise awareness of the brand’s key values.”

Davina Barker, sales director, DCM added, “We’re thrilled to have worked with Airbnb to launch their latest creative using cinema’s latest technological development, 37 Degrees. Showcasing their ad in this way allows cinemagoers to be the curators of their own experience, offering a sense of uniqueness as people who are sat next to each other can see something different.

Tristan Wyse, national sales director, Val Morgan said,“This groundbreaking campaign is the coming together of technology and imagination and was made possible through a true partnership between all parties involved. The activation inspires travelers to re-imagine what it is to travel by showcasing the authentic experiences made possible through Airbnb. Finding Dory is one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year, and this memorable activation will create a lasting impact and really strengthen the Live There message.”

The Airbnb Double Feature cinema experience will be presented in select movie theaters June 17-19 and June 24-26 in the U.S. by NCM, in the U.K. by DCM, and in Australia by The Val Morgan Cinema Network. SAWA, the Global Cinema Advertising Association, was instrumental in bringing these international cinema advertising leaders together to bring Airbnb’s Double Feature experience to movie audiences around the world.