Airbnb recently launched a floating house on the River Thames to promote its lettings website to homeowners in the capital. The fast-growing internet brand is now the largest hospitality business in the world without owning a single room, but that hasn’t stopped them from building an increasing above the line marketing presence. The integrated engagement campaign is the latest in a number of PR focused apartment promotions from around the world.
The floating house was designed by TBWA London. Inside, it features a bathroom, pastel bedrooms and a sunny yellow kitchen and lounge kitted out with mid-century style furniture. The building will be cruised along the Thames hosting events in Chelsea, Westminster and Canary Wharf before making its final stop at Putney Pier.
Airbnb set up a listings page for the house, where users could enter a competition to stay in it for a night. The winning guests received spa treatments and had dinner cooked for them by Lima chef Robert Ortiz – a package that was cleverly designed to appeal to the Gen Y oriented target audience and was by nature immensely shareable through social media.
The floating house was the latest in a series of unusual apartments from Airbnb. Last year they teamed up with airline KLM to open an apartment in a plane grounded at Amsterdam airport (again running a competition to stay in the apartment).
And in January they unveiled an apartment in a cable car in French ski resort Courchevel.
Respect to brands stepping thinking the advertising square to reinforce their differentiated brand value proposition and engage with the people most important to their success.
Images by Mikael Buck, courtesy of Airbnb