Airbnb Brooklyn Half Digital Strategy

Project Role: Digital Strategy

“We’ll celebrate the real Brooklyn by letting our expert hosts lead the way. They will identify off-the-beaten-path local businesses, experiences, and institutions that will be featured throughout the campaign.” Given this campaign strategy, I was tasked with realizing the charge in the digital realm. How could we activate members and non-members of the Airbnb community to get out and explore Brooklyn in new ways? The launch time of this campaign coincided with a global product launch of Guidebooks, collections of host recommendations aggregated on the city level. Because of my experience working on Guidebooks during a hackathon, I had familiarity with the product and made a strong recommendation to link directly into product to showcase our aggregated and existing host recommendations for Brooklyn. Through Guidebooks, hosts could identify off-the-beaten-path local businesses, experiences, and institutions to be featured throughout the campaign.

Brooklyn Guidebooks  /  Press


I advocated for this digital strategy in order to answer the campaign brief to inspire and position Airbnb as the most exciting way to unlock access to local and magical experiences in Brooklyn. Launching a campaign with product support and integration instead of building a short-term solution of a microsite was beneficial to both the business and consumer. This is the first time a marketing campaign used a new product feature to deliver on the campaign strategy. I worked across the organization with product managers, designers and engineers to ensure features and content matched campaign expectations. 


From social to out of home, the entire campaign centered around Guidebooks and activating Brooklynites to participate in Airbnb host recommendations with digital at the center of the campaign. The campaign used Airbnb's distinctive running 'Belo' character as the conduit into our host community. 

Because we had out of home and print placements, we evolved the campaign concept with a classic New York twist in which we charged viewers to call a number to get local recommendations. Anyone who called (718) 885-4228 got to hear recordings of Airbnb hosts from different neighborhoods sharing recommendations for their favorite local spots. Rather than ask people to enter a hashtag, we presented a way to use a phone the way it was intended—to make a phone call. Listen to an example host recommendation below.


Thanks to the wonderful reception of this campaign, Airbnb will build this concept out across all five boroughs for an international audience during the NYC Marathon later in the year. 

We drove a significant amount of traffic to Guidebooks in tandem with the products global launch, proving the value of the new product feature and its multitude of uses for our community.