New TBWA Airbnb Campaign Encourages Everyone to Stop Acting Like a Tourist

By Patrick Coffee 

Is this man…kind?

Back in December, Airbnb CEO and chief disruptor Brian Chesky described an OOH TBWA campaign that pissed off a lot of San Francisco residents by arguing that the company already pays lots of taxes and shouldn’t have to pay more as “ill-advised” during an interview with Re/code, adding, “We were really embarrassed internally, so that was a problem.”

Today, it seems he’s happier with his agency’s work.


The campaign in question moves away from making philosophical queries about how kind the human race might be in favor of arguing that the company’s services allows tourists to stop being…tourists wherever they happen to visit.

We kept waiting for the VO to add a nice, “ewww.”

There’s a pretty strong implication here that people who choose to use Airbnb are less likely to demonstrate such insufferable tourist-like behavior. The tagline clarifies: “Live there. Even if it’s just for a night.”

And yes, there’s research behind these here insights. According to some Airbnb studies, lots of young people “find crowds at major tourist attractions to be more stressful than doing a tax return.” The company also hyped its algorithms which aim to pair travelers with their ideal hosts for a less touristy experience.

The print work creatively elaborates on that concept by recasting intimate moments as Airbnb listings to remind the public once again that such an experience is more personal than staying at a faceless hotel. (Or so we assume. We’ve never tried it.)


180LA CMO Stephen Larkin also complimented TBWA on its work after swiping Miller Lite. See, agencies can play nice!


Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day
Creative: Stephen Butler, Brent Anderson, Kevin Butler, John Figone, Michael Flannery, Chris Mizutani, Rafael Goncalves, Sarah Johnston, Logan O’Brien
Account: James Vincent, Kelly Lee, Jenn Wong, Matt Theisen, Teddy Notari, Aubrey Larson, Kelli McDonald
Planning: Neil Barrie, Jennifer Costello, Emilie Arrive, Farid Mozafari
Production: Brian O’Rourke, Darryl Hagans,Joseph Haldemann, Dena Moore, Kat Urban, Karishma Singh
Business Affairs: Linda Daubson, Maryam Ohebsion
Traffic: Gus Mejia
Client: Airbnb
Chief Marketing Officer: Jonathan Mildenhall
Global Marcom Director: Brian Irving
Head Of Advertising: Peter Giorgi
Global Marcom Manager: Marion Link
Global Marcom Manager: Alessandra Cuetara
Global Head Of Production: Rachel Holbrook
Global Production Lead: Holly Butler
Production Associate: Nion McEvoy Jr
Media Manager: Rachael Haley
Social Media Manager: Jasmine Atherton
Production – RSA
Director: Anna Sandilands + Ewan McNicol
President: Jules Daly
Executive Producer: Marjie Abrahams
Head of Production: Elicia Laport
Line Producer:  Jan Wieringa, Julie Sawyer
Prod Supervisor: Stephen Strosin
Dir. Of Photography:  Jim Jolliffe
Global Stylist:  Thom Murray
Editorial – Rock Paper Scissors
Editor – Tokyo, Paris, LA: Damion Clayton & Marjorie Sacks
Editor – Anthem: Adam Pertofsky & Marjorie Sacks
Post Producer: Shada Shariatzadeh
Assistant Editor: Mike Spagnoli
Telecine/Film Transfer – MPC
Colorist: Mark Gethin
Sounds Studio: Lime
Audio Mix: Lime
Online Editorial: A52
Executive Producer: Kim Christensen
Producer: Drew Rissman