Airbnb, the global service that coordinates places to stay in private residents for travelers, has launched its first national ad campaign using birds and birdhouses as a metaphor for travelers and local homes. For the $2 million campaign, the San Francisco-based firm commissioned 10 artists to replicate 50 airbnb rentals from around the world as birdhouses.

Airbnb will screen a short film about the birdhouse project at movie theaters in several large U.S. cities through December and part of January, as display video ads on websites like the BBC, Dwell and Lonely Planet from Dec. 16 to Jan. 12, and present a full-page ad in print in the travel magazine Afar in January.

“The business has gotten to be this size through word of mouth, and our growth plans are significant,” Amy Curtis-McIntyre, chief marketing officer of Airbnb, told The New York Times. “We are building a meaningful presence in Asia in 2014, and a deeper presence in Europe and South America, specifically Brazil. Our business mandate is to build greater awareness faster, to keep the growth trajectory.”

“The whole idea of traveling is an important thing for me, and I realized the ultimate travelers are birds,” P. J. Pereira, chief creative officer of Pereira & O’Dell, the firm that developed the campaign, told the Times. “Those little, fragile things are always traveling — how wonderful it would be to actually celebrate them and use them as icons.”

The 5-year-old startup features 500,000 properties of approximately 350,000 hosts in 192 countries and more than 34,000 cities around the world.

Source: New York Times

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