Airbnb ad campaign

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Cutting edge is tough.

Airbnb is getting a lot of attention this week with their recent PR’ish ad campaign.

We’ll call it “The personal letter series”. It hit San Francisco streets and it rubbed many the wrong way.

Some details via AdWeek

Hasn’t there always been a fine line between brilliance and idiocy?

People gamble with ideas everyday. When you win, you’re a hero. When you lose, you’re an idiot. Wall Street is full of this paradigm.

I once spoke with a Vanity Fair journalist who said that as Johnny Depp watched the dailies from the first Pirates Of The Caribbean and he sensed failure, that they “were all finished”. Guess that worked out for the better, no?

Then there’s client vs. agency situation. We have no idea what went on behind the scenes of this project, but in any creative/client situation you never know if the client was driving the idea or if the agency recommendation won or lost. TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A probably worked hard on this. And to their credit, they won. It got attention. It created conversations. Go figure, an ad campaign that got attention.

The lesson here is about knowing your landscape, understanding the internet has created an easy channel for blowback, preparing for the worst, and that most saw this one coming. (deep breath, exhale).

Oh, and wasn’t this campaign all print / outdoor?

Not bad for an internet giant.

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