And the Oscar goes to Airbnb

Joel Dsouza
Sep 14, 2017 · 2 min read

Social media campaigns are key to raising brand awareness and building relationships with your customers. Now there are some good ones and some bad ones.

But what about the ones those really stand out?

One such social media campaign was run by Airbnb during the 2016 Oscars.

The Oscars are a great marketing opportunity for any brand. However, for Airbnb, this was not the case. As Marriott Hotels was one of the sponsors of the ceremony, Airbnb was not allowed to advertise during the ceremony or mention the Oscars or any of the nominated films.

So what did they do?

The ‎#LiveInTheMovies campaign was the genius workaround that allowed ‎Airbnb to tap into the massive Oscars audience with funny, personal, and entertaining tweets. They asked their Twitter audience which movie it would most like to live in and then tweeted back with listings that matched their dream locations — a tiny island off of Costa Rica for that one guy who wanted to live in “Jurassic Park,” for example.

Image Courtesy: AIrbnb
Image Courtesy: AIrbnb

And how did it go?

The campaign generated 63 million impressions and 1.3 million video views, which was more than what any other brand generated during the Oscars weekend.

It is fair to say that Airbnb hit the ball straight outta the ballpark.

This campaign fits brilliantly within the SCQA framework.

SITUATION: The Oscars, one of the most watched events worldwide, are round the corner. A massive opportunity to showcase your brand lies herein. Airbnb is interested.

COMPLICATION: However, Airbnb cannot advertise during the Oscars.

QUESTION: What can Airbnb do to circumvent this problem?

ANSWER: Run the ‎#LiveInTheMovies campaign. This is a workaround that allowed Airbnb to converse with the audience during the Oscars with funny, personal, and entertaining tweets. This led to massive social media impressions. Airbnb measured a 10% uplift in positive sentiment in the days after the event.

What is the takeaway?

Think out of the box and try new things. Turn constraints into innovative surprises for your audience.