By: Michelle Boca
Airbnb is to hotels as Uber is to taxis. Then called Airbed and Breakfast when it launched back in 2008, is an online marketplace that allows people to list or rent short-term lodging in residential properties. With 2 million listings worldwide, it is a booking platform that lets users rent out their unused space to travelers. Airbnb is currently active in 192 countries.
Airbnb’s Super Bowl ad featured individuals from different ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds with a text that states: “We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.”
It has a lot of emotional appeals because it shows individuals that come from many different cultural and religious backgrounds. Those that are affected from Trump’s policy may be emotional towards the advertisement. Immigrants that have come to the United States to have a better life can feel the power that the ad is trying to portray because they know what it is like to be discriminated and misunderstood. Immigrants go through a lot and they work hard to stay in this country but they face a lot of hardships. I believe that the ad is for everyone but immigrants or anybody that has felt some type of discrimination will feel a connection towards it.
Airbnb, one of the most aggressive corporate critics of Trump’s police, was inspired to make a statement regarding Trump’s temporary immigration policy especially banning predominately Muslim countries.
Airbnb committed to providing short-term housing for 100,000 people in the next 5 years that needed a place to stay. This included refugees, victims of natural disasters, and aid workers. “The company began to provide free and subsidized temporary housing for people who had been affected by the immigration restrictions.” It will also donate 4 million dollars to the International Rescue Committee, a group that helps displaced people around the world, for the next 4 years.
The ad was not supposed to air during the Super Bowl but after learning that there was still ad space left, the company decided to purchase the ad space for $5million for 30 seconds. The founders of the company, Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk, worked hard to put the 30-second ad together. “Airbnb made that Super Bowl ad in one day—all to send a message,” gushed NBC. Brian Chesky stated, “Our entire idea is predicated on the notion that you can go anywhere in the world and the minute walls go up between communities … that is a huge opposition to our mission. The notion that you wouldn’t accept somebody from a country because of who they are is a complete violation of all the values that we believe.”
However, Jeff Bercovici, a longtime tech journalist, stated that the company did not make the ad in 3 days. That the footage shown was actually clips that were already taken from an earlier Airbnb ad campaign-one dedicated to combatting alleged discrimination by its hosts. A spokesman from the company said that the allegation is not 100% true. Yes, the clips were from its earlier video but Airbnb’s decision to adopt came about spontaneously last week, and that the founders did have a hands-on role getting it ready in time for the Super Bowl.
“Airbnb’s mission to bring strangers together who help each other in various ways is core to our mission as well,” stated David Miliband, the organization’s president and chief executive. “So many Americans were refugees. It’s core to the identity and success of the country.”