Airbnb Solicits Creative Ideas From the Public for Its Next Holiday Campaign, Offers $500 Prize

By Erik Oster 

Airbnb is no stranger to controversy in its marketing efforts.

The home sharing service recently teamed up with Strother Nuckels Strategies for a political campaign which claimed that the company helps middle class families. That work came in response to an effort launched last summer by lobbying group the Share Better Coalition which criticized the company, claiming that forty percent of Airbnb revenue in New York went to real estate moguls.

Last fall, the company angered some in San Francisco with an OOH campaign advocating against Proposition F, a proposed law that would have required Airbnb to be classified as a hotel chain, by lightly shaming libraries and other such organizations for the tax money they receive from the hotel industry and businesses like Airbnb. In the fallout from that campaign, CEO Brian Chesky essentially laid the blame on TBWA\Chiat\Day, claiming the agency had “embarrassed” his company.


Airbnb’s latest move might not sit well with its agency partners, either.

The company is using content-sourcing company MoFilm to crowd-source ideas for its holiday campaign with an “Airbnb Holiday Ideas Contest.”

The call for entries, which was written by MoFilm, reads in part, “It’s a pitch situation, where we’ll put forward the best-of-the-best from our global network in an effort to gain the business.” It then calls members of its community to “Think big and think local. Infuse your ideas with knowledge of your own city, or cities you’ve been to in the past. And remember it’s not just Christmas, it’s any holiday worthy of a trip via Airbnb.”

The person running this contest is Carter Hahn, who spent several years as an account manager at Goodby Silverstein & Partners and served as lead on the HP, Adobe and Nintendo accounts.

The deadline for submissions is October 3, so if you want to participate you’ll have to hurry over to MoFilm and sign the NDA to get the brief. The top five concepts will be awarded a $500 cash prize!