On January 1st, 2015 Airbnb took to social media to announce the beginning of an exciting new social experiment which took the form of a social media campaign ‘#OneLessStranger’.

Airbnb’s mission is to provide a unique type of hospitality – a sense of community, comfort and belonging wherever you may be in the world, however far from home. Their hosts, welcome strangers into their homes, helping instil that sense of belonging “making the world a more connected and better place one stranger at a time”(#OneLessStranger, 2016). This is where their idea started.

“Our mission is to create a world where all 7 Billion people can Belong Anywhere.” – (#OneLessStranger, 2016)

The objective of the advertisement is to promote this sense of connectivity and engagement, because with connectivity comes comfort, which is exactly how they want you to feel when spending the night in the home of a complete stranger.

The intended audience is pretty much anyone with a camera and any sort of social media account. Although you have to be over 18 to book a room on the Airbnb website, this particular campaign is inclusive of everyone [“…all 7 billion people”].

There was clear evidence of their advertisement being effective as just 3 weeks after the launch of the campaign, over 3,000,000 people worldwide engaged and uploaded content, or were talking about the campaign.

I might have improved on this advertisement by taking it a step further and creating a series of ads, whereby you see people meet their (Airbnb home) hosts, take photos together, then upload them to the Airbnb website. This would further create further engagement between the company and their customers.

In Voorveld and Van Noort’s article ‘Social Media in Advertising Campaigns’ (2013, pp. 253-268), they examine and discuss the persuasive impact of Social Networking Sites (SNS) in comparison to more traditional advertising formats such as television (TV), as well as the effectiveness of SNS integration into tradition advertising campaigns. In their findings they were able to draw out 4 conclusions from three experimental studies. First, TV campaigns were found to have a more favourable affect. Second, cognitive and behavioural responses were found to be more favourable in SNS-only campaigns. Third, cross media campaigns that combine both SNS and traditional advertising formats were equally or more effective than campaigns using either only social media or TV-only  as “..there are indirect effects via perceived persuasive intent; it is the first study that has showed that cross-media campaigns are less recognised as advertising, which has an indirect positive influence on campaign effects.”(Voorveld & Van Noort, 2014, pp. 264). And lastly as mentioned above, campaigns in which both methods are combined, messages are perceived as less persuasive and this difference essentially affects consumers’ attitudes and buying intentions.

Thus, the overall conclusion is that social media plays a vital role in advertising because consumers appear to be less aware of the persuasive nature of the campaigns which in turn enhances their buying intentions. Therefore SNS campaigns have been proven to provide an interesting and successful alternative method to traditional advertising.

 

REFERENCES

#OneLessStranger. (2016). [Blog] Airbnb News. Available at: http://blog.airbnb.com/creating-onelessstranger-stories-belonging/ [Accessed 27 Apr. 2016].

Voorveld, H. and Van Noort, G. (2014). Social Media in Advertising Campaigns. Journal of Creative Communications, [online] Vol.9(3), pp.pp.253-268. Available at: http://crc.sagepub.com.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/content/9/3/253.full.pdf+html [Accessed 26 Apr. 2016].

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