Airbnb has made its TV branding debut in Japan following the implementation of a law on Friday 9 June that recognises home sharing in the country and sets out clear rules for it.
The 30-second commercial follows Airbnb’s global brand positioning of ‘Live There’, which encourages travellers to blend into the local community rather than behaving as typical tourists. It is set in Tokyo and features interaction between hosts and guests, and other positive experiences a traveller is able to have using Airbnb.
Developed by TBWA Hakuhodo, the campaign is Airbnb’s first branding initiative to run on mainstream media in Japan and aims to grow the number of domestic users of the platform. It will air across a variety of channels in Tokyo, Kansai, Nagoya and Fukuoka. The core message will extend to print, online and social media.
Last year, the company ran a series of localised videos telling individual host stories, which also targeted domestic travellers as well as potential hosts.
The Japanese government’s ruling allows hosts to rent space to paying guests for 180 nights a year. Other markets have been less generous: in London, for example, the cap is set at 90 days. Japan is already Airbnb’s fastest growing global market, helped by surging tourism and a shortage of hotel rooms. It is also recognised as a country with a high number of ‘superhosts’—hosts who receive consistently high ratings from guests.
Campaign’s view: The campaign is an important step forward for Airbnb in a market where the sharing economy is a relatively new concept. While Airbnb has become popular among foreign visitors to Japan and local early adopters, mass media branding will introduce the concept to a new audience and perhaps most importantly reassure those who have been hesitant to use home sharing services. TV is still a key factor in gaining widespread trust as a brand in Japan, as Expedia’s head of marketing noted in an interview last year.
See where Airbnb ranks in our Asia's Top 1000 Brands report, just published today.