Airbnb had a difficult end to 2013, with a botched marketing campaign that included a trademark infringement lawsuit from competitor HomeAway.
After scrapping the Birdbnb campaign, the company is back with a new marketing effort called Airbnb Shorts.
The campaign focuses on current Airbnb hosts, asking them to create short 15 second videos that showcase some of their favorite local spots.
The idea is to create a robust file of videos that can then be used across the Airbnb website, efficiently and affordably adding multimedia depth to the Airbnb Neighborhoods product.
The contest works like this:
- Create a 15 second video that focuses on why someone should visit the city - a video that will "inspire people to visit your city."
- Hashtag it with AirbnbShorts and the city name.
- Set Instagram account to public, as private accounts can be seen.
- Judging will occur based on the most creative, unique and interesting videos.
The person responsible for judging the competition is Mike Plante, who is the lead programmer for the Sundance Shorts program. So not only is this a chance to win a trip, aspiring filmmakers have the opportunity to jump into view of one of the lead tastemakers for short films at world-renowned Sundance.
The usage of Instagram is essential to the marketing effort, as the brand not only gets a video windfall but also reaps a social media bonanza via the wide penetration of the Airbnb Shorts hashtag. This then emphasizes one of Airbnb's key value propositions, which is the deep insider knowledge provided to guests by their worldwide network of hosts.
One grand prize winner will receive airfare to London in April 2014, including a voucher for $500 per night at an Airbnb listing, a video camera and a ticket to the Shorts Workshop put on by the Sundance Institute.
Tnooz will keep an eye on the Instagram stream and share our favorites in the coming months.
NB: Author is an Airbnb host.