Nikki Wicks
Nov 25, 2014

Airbnb welcomes the world in homemade global campaign

Seeking to explain its service to wider audiences, Airbnb has launched a global campaign that takes viewers on a remarkable train journey through a lovingly handcrafted miniature world—in a video produced in a single, continuous shot without computer graphics.

Client: Airbnb

Campaign: Welcome to Airbnb

Agency: TBWA/Singapore

Market: Global

The campaign: The new video campaign sets out to educate viewers about Airbnb, portraying the world as small and encouraging people to explore and discover. The campaign will be launched on digital channels including Youtube, Youku and Facebook, and will be amplified in Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America, as well as through cinema placements in selected markets.

To produce the video, 30 people spent five weeks building an 85-square-metre train set, with more than 2,400 craftsmen hours spent creating the landscape. The work used 20 square metres of plywood, 12 litres of glue and more than 160 sheets of polyboard.

The Airbnb marketing teams in Singapore and San Francisco worked together with TBWA/Singapore, Six Toes TV Singapore and Cirkus production in Auckland, New Zealand, to create the film. 

Fun facts from the press release:

  • “Welcome to Airbnb” was shot in a 40-by-40-metre warehouse in Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Nine “Cirkus artists” manually moved all the transitions by hand as the train traveled along the full length of the track.
  • The castle was made through 3D printing and hand painted, brick by brick.
  • Miniature modellers and painters created more than 100 unique trees, more than 60 hand-cut houses and 240 tailor-made miniature flowers, grasses and shrubs.
  • The team made 96 figurines, including six miniatures of real Airbnb guests and two dogs.
  • Though the final ad is a single shot, the making-of video (below) reveals that it took the team 85 takes to get it right.

Quote: Jonathan Mildenhall, CMO Airbnb: “As you board the train in this film, you’re transported into a magical world that represents the very heart of Airbnb. As you wind your way through some of the amazing listings Airbnb has to offer, you get a different perspective on the world. With each viewing, you see something unique and interesting that you didn't notice before, mirroring the experience that many people have when they travel with Airbnb."

Comments: With CGI and tech wizardry so common in video and creative work, we have to applaud the teams on this brilliant feat of craftsmanship. The handmade feel and flow of the video is great to watch, and we love the fact that it features places, homes, people and dogs based on listings.

Check out the making of the video: 



Client: Airbnb
Title: Welcome To Airbnb
Apac Marketing Manager: Matthias Schuecking
Agency: Tbwa\Singapore
Copywriter: James Holman
Art Director: Nuno Pestana Teixeira
Creative Director: Gary Steele
Executive Creative Director: Edmund Choe
Agency Producer: Haydn Evans / Six Toes
Regional Account Director: Nirmalo Wilkes
Account Director: Joyce Wong
Senior Account Executive: Neha Sethi
Senior Strategist: Siyuan Aw
Production Company: Cirkus / Six Toes
Director: Christian Greet
Director: Norman Yeend
Executive Producer: Marko Klijn
Director Of Photography: Christian Greet, Andrew Mcgeorge
Production Designer: Christian Greet, Norman Yeend
Model Makers: Norman Yeend, Justin Buckingham @ Glasshammer, Dion Boothby, Barry Down, Tim Wells, Philip Stokes, Ashley Turner, Henric Matthiesen, Wrestler James Turnbull, Jester Joon Yoon, Mime Priyan Jayamaha, Manipulator Kurt Adams, Nynne Mors, Matt Ramsay, Simon Coles; French Section: Human Cannonball Romain Borrell, Thomas Bozovic And Marion Angebault, And Quinn Klijn
Lighting: Christian Greet, Gracie Spence
Storyboarding: Dylan Coburn
Concept Artist: Laura Dubuk, Christian Greet
Production Management: Zara Hayden, Puteri Raja Ariff
Music: Platinum & Rye / Oliver Daldry


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