Clever for Business or Clever for Clever?

Airbnb, increasingly known for its ingenuity and creativity, has a new TV spot. And it’s either really clever… or their agency created one heck of a portfolio piece on the client’s dollar!

Airbnb, a community marketplace for people to list or book unique accommodations, tries to “creatively” capture the idea of their diverse inventory of unique rental homes throughout the world. The device? A 100% handmade commercial, as seen through a fun, adventurous, miniature train ride!

We are told in a “Behind The Scenes” video that the spot was created by 30 craftspeople tallying up over 2400 man-hours, and that the “Welcome to Airbnb” spot, was shot in one unedited take with no GCI. Matter of fact, we are told almost everything that the spot is intended to do… in the “Behind the Scenes” video. Now what’s up with that?

The spot does work hard to reflect the brand’s adventurous personality. It works to communicate that Airbnb is innovative — not only for its social home-sharing platform (one that’s putting pressure on the whole hotel industry, poising Airbnb to take a 10% bite out of the industry bastions,) but its creativity in advertising. (If you recall, their first ad was a crowdsourced combination of Vines strung together to form the first all Vine advertising spot.)

But is it all too clever for the communication job it must do? Do we know more about Airbnb through the “Behind The Scenes” chronology than the spot itself? And was this a flaw in the spot… or totally intended? (Now THAT would be totally clever!) Truly don’t know.



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