I just saw this today and was stunned: A commercial showing hosts leaving out an electric guitar for a family and the couple's child jumping up and down on the bed.
What Ad agency thought this was a good idea? And what unrealistic expectations is Airbnb setting for potential guests about what hosts will be providing and what guests are allowed to do in these homes? (note all the hosts who verify they can't get reimbursed for their broken furniture and beds).
And no - it's not cute when it's a minority kid doing it.
Please oh please oh please show these things to hosts in a focus group first. Our jobs are hard enough as it is.
@M199 The question it comes down to for me is: are the people I enjoy sharing my space with still using this site, or have they been overtaken by customers I don't want?
If I had to make a decision right now, when international travel is still deeply suppressed, I'd definitely shut it down. But if the situation recovered to the point that normal people were enthusiastic about homestays again, I'd have a different outlook. Respect/support from Airbnb has never been a big expectation of mine, as long as decent people with realistic expectations came my way, and up until shutting down for the pandemic last year I was getting what I hoped for. A huge profit and retirement is not an option for me at this time in life, but if it were, I wouldn't hesitate to take it and spend the next years traveling the world as a hopefully decent guest.
You always have a great perspective Andrew.
We are slaves to our existence! We all say, "Yeah, I will get around to that, one day when I have the house paid off, the kids through school and off my hands, that new SUV in the garage"!
But all of a sudden a catastrophe comes along and you realise, 'Things come and go but, memories are forever' and you change your priorities....you live for the future instead of living for the past!
Ade getting MS was the best thing that happened to us! She would probably not agree but, that Porsche in the garage did not matter any more.
The motorhome in the driveway sure did though....
Travelling meant we entered a great part of our lives that so many people don't get to experience.
Andrew, if you have the opportunity to be that great guest, do it, you will never regret it!
You’ve raised some excellent points about how this video could be interpreted, and I appreciate you flagging it. Hosts’ input is always valuable, and I agree that we can do more on getting your take earlier on in the process, not just when we build tools but also when we promote Airbnb. This communication thread has prompted me to take immediate action. I have talked with our marketing team, and I’m going to set up a new working group that includes members of the Host community and senior leaders from our marketing department to make sure your voice is heard in how Airbnb is portrayed.
I hope it goes without saying that it wasn’t our intention to encourage guests to disrespect your homes with this ad. We saw the clip as a celebration of one family’s unforgettable experience—as the ad says, made possible by you, our Hosts. We’re so grateful for all you do, including keeping us accountable.
Thanks so much again for your feedback.
I was half facetious and half concerned because I've had both respectful guests (the majority) and those who think that once they rent our homes they can do whatever they want with them.
I remember TURO, the company that started a peer-to-peer car rental service. That's something I would never do with my vehicles, but what was memorable was that the commercials featured owners handing the keys to the renters.
That's the part that is missing - that these are not anonymous investor homes made possible by hosts, these are the host's actually homes (for the most part) and we're giving them the keys. Stories?
1. the women who meet at a different place once a year for a reunion - they're cancer survivors who invited me over and we talked and laughed for three hours (I still want to learn quilting now).
2. the new host I stayed with in Emporia, KS who made space for two last-minute bicyclists from Holland by putting them in his guest room then went out to rescue them when they broke down in the middle of the flint hills. Then he volunteered to be their technical support for the entire race.
3. the people who came back for a second time to visit their son who couldn't make it home for Christmas. They brought the holidays to him complete with a tree and left us a holiday gift.
4. the woman who has booked us five times and leaves cookies for my daughter. I gave them an Easter board book for their new grandbaby and it took a day before she realized I was the author.
5. And families? The ones who talk about playing board games at the dining room table (I have a lot of them in the cabinet) or complimented us on the wide selection of DVD's, or who love sitting on the front porch and tell us our neighbors wave and say hello (because they do), or the mom who was taking her medical exam and apologized that her kids ate all the snacks (I told her I set out lots for that reason). We know the house has been loved when the stuffed penguins and the Snoopy move around the house.
THOSE families and guests know we use the home too and act accordingly.
There are so many good stories hosts can share. And there are many of us who love the majority of our guests and that can be seen in the conversations going on in the message section (when Airbnb isn't censoring them).
Me as a guest?
1. Going to Dublin Ireland with a group of conference organizers from KC. We shared 2 Airbnb's between all of us so we could occasionally have meals together.
2. The same group is now heading to Washington, DC and did a joint search while on Zoom so we could find the perfect Airbnb to fit us all. We can all afford hotels, but an Airbnb provides something more family oriented
3. Having animated conversations with other hosts over shared experiences.
4. Me wishing the host in Paris was still on the platform because she was my first guest experience and she set the tone for me staying on the platform.
I know there are corporate "investor" hosts with no personal connection to their spaces except the cashflow..
But as a former Hallmark manager I can attest that your core business is not a home provided by an anonymous absentee host. It's personal connections (even if only through messaging) and living breathing hosts who created the space with love.
The right Ad company would have understood from the beginning what the heart of Airbnb is and who makes it possible. They got it half right.
So glad you are putting hosts on the committee to represent the "other side" of the equation.
Thanks for responding, It means a lot.
@Catherine-Powell, Thanks for reading and responding! Wow, someone really heard us!
As I mentioned, I'm an agency-experienced, senior-level, ad copywriter and I just checked the agency credits on these and some of your former ghastly spots. The agencies that did these spots are the high-priced, blue-chip ones. Chiat Day. Weiden Kennedy. The places we all dreamed of working at as young creatives.
Pretty shocked they would be so clueless as to create this terrible campaign that is at once precious, insulting, off target and most importantly fails to boost hosts, as the tagline ("made possible by hosts") clearly intends them to. No one on the creative team must be a host? I see kids jumping on beds, playing with a valuable guitar while standing on furniture, making tents in the living room with sheets and broomsticks. Agency and marketing: You fail hosts once again.
There are many great stories of meaningful Airbnb connections out there. As a host with ABB since almost the beginning (witness my low listing number) I have boatloads of wonderful stories featuring great guests, some who have become lifelong friends. Do we really need to resort to messages promoting kids jumping on furniture? I'd have to leave a poor review for that family, cute as they are.
@Catherine-Powell Are marketing campaigns not shared with the HAB before they're released? I'm still really curious about what's going on with that group, as we haven't heard anything in some time.
Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears that this ad is still actively running.
@Alexandra316 Interesting, isn't it, how this HAB, that was supposedly representing hosts, seems to be some clandestine group with no process here set up for hosts to communicate with the board, no input from us asked for by them, no updates on what they are actually doing. Somehow, the posts introducing the individual members is supposed to be the only thing we are interested in about it?
When individual HAB members have been asked here what they are working on, the answer has been that they aren't at liberty to discuss it. ?????? Does that sound like your interests are being represented?
I'm quite convinced it's exactly as many of us predicted. All smoke and mirrors PR, lackies who were hand-picked by Airbnb to "advise" on what Airbnb decides to do, so they can say they are listening to hosts, and none of it is addressing the real issues hosts have.
@Sarah977 Yes, interesting is certainly one word for it. It really does seem like smoke and mirrors. It's been approximately 8 months with no apparent action and no method for communication. I have a feeling it's going to be the Airbnb Open all over again: I think it may sink without a trace into the ether of abandoned ideas. See also: every other host listening initiative, host/property verification, Superguest, etc.
Thank you @Catherine-Powell. The advert made me want to remove all the nice things in my space - anything that has value. But that would then not make it the space I want it to be….
It can be a really tough gig at times being a family friendly space, with the extra preparations and clean ups. What with changing bed configurations, adding into the space the infant items, bedding, laundering and then after, the extra laundering, then scrubbing from infants: with cots, high chairs, playpens, tables, seat cushions, lounge chairs, walls, mirrors, windows, glass doors etc etc - for no extra monetary gain………
Visual imagery is an incredibly powerful tool, and even if it’s subliminal, any sanctioning of disrespect is what we want to stamp out, not encourage. Not just us Airbnbers, but every other business in the area of hospitality.
But may I say your immediate action is welcomed. Knowing that the right hand and the left hand are communicating and brainstorming beyond the inner circle, will enhance information and contribute varying ideas and perceptions, rather than create too many pats on the back from the misinformation of a few.
So encouraging that @Catherine-Powell responded to this!
Sorry for second post but just wanted to clarify that I like kids. When I'm eating out I actually like them running around. If I kept hosting families I was going to put in the guide to please play outside. I thought of also getting some outdoor games.
But I also have two very expensive windows. Each cost $2400 just for the window 4 years ago, so now would likely be over $3,000, and no telling how long it would take to have them made as they were a custom order, and also 3 people to install because they are so heavy.
As I mentioned one family had a young dad who must have been throwing a hard plastic ball as hard as he could against the cabinets, walls and windows, with his kids. There was no way small child could throw a ball that hard. There was juice spilled everywhere. I have wood floors so was able to clean everything up, but was also surprised nothing was broken or damaged. I can only hear doors slamming or someone throwing a hard ball against a common wall.
I didn't want to sound like I don't like kids. What I enjoyed was finding picked wild flowers from little girls left at the outdoor chairs. I think this ad could have shown more outdoor and things to do in the yard for kids. Most of my guest mention how much they love the yard.
Finally I thought @Christine615 might have flagged this because guest should be more mindful of not staining or ruining the bedding as it can cost $200 to replace bed spread, sheets, matress protector alone. So far I've only had a few incidents where either people or pets ruined bed spreads or bedding. I now try to buy good enough bed spreads under $100.
@John5097 I love the image of the little girls picking wildflowers and leaving them on an outdoor chair. In my mind's eye I see that being the last thing they do as their parents call them to get in the car, you see the family driving away, then the host coming to start cleaning, seeing the flowers, pausing and smiling.
Something like that would convey the symbiosis between guests and hosts.
Loving having kids around doesn't mean one loves having guest parents who don't take on the responsibility of cleaning up after them, I get you. It's really a shame when this happens.
@Sarah977 yes that was rewarding.. the dad who booked it also let me know they had a blast and left a great review. I also provide four beach nice beach chairs, $80 each, and parking pass for the county park at the beach, that saves them $15 parking. Some other host provide beach games but all kids love the beach. I think they also had a blast just riding the busses in the city, also provide all the info they need on that and even that is fun for a kid.
I don't mind accidents either and even say so in my listing. However letting pets and kids on the bed with muddy paws and shoes, or eating in bed, isn't an accident. So far my only experience with a service animal was torn and muddy bed spread, and dog hairs all in the sheets. They must have even removed the mattress protector because there were lots of dog hair on the bare mattress. Other families would load up the mini van with all their own blankets and bed spreads from home and did laundry the entire time for a 2 day trip. If I had kept hosting them I think the few bad ones, who take advantage of having nice things for guest, would have a broken W/D $1500 and broken windows.
I appreciate that @Catherine-Powell commented on this, and also, that she speaks and writes like a normal person and doesn't partake in Airbnb's typical blend of new age+dudebro+twee verbiage that is so often found from CS reps.