Cannes Lions

Never A Stranger


Presentation Image
Case Film






Built on a foundation of open-mindedness and trust, Airbnb allows travelers to stay in people’s homes and be a part of the local community, providing a more authentic way to see the world. But this new perspective on traveling like a local did not come without some hesitation.

We considered what most people had dismissed as “weird” or “not for me” to be much more meaningful and far more aspirational than a place to sleep. Through over 50 in-depth interviews with Airbnb’s global community, we developed a deeper understanding of what united them.

Two characteristics emerged among the Airbnb tribe: open-mindedness and an elevated view of travel being an essential part of the human experience. We heard about friendships formed and horizons widened. Hosts even used the word ‘family’ to talk about their favorite guests. This almost immediate connection between “strangers” is what makes traveling with Airbnb so magical.


“Never a Stranger” tells the story of Ellie, a young solo female traveler who takes a trip across five of the world’s most exciting destinations, staying with Airbnb in homes. Viewers see Ellie bonding with real Airbnb hosts and every neighborhood spot she visits is based on hosts recommendations.

Across our key markets, we strategically distributed the film using cinema, TV, social media and online video. We leveraged second-screening and synced our activity with a feedback loop across TV, social media and digital to increase viewership. We also natively embedded Ellie’s story into digital content to drive interest across devices.

We also created a digital hub of hosts’ recommendations for travelling like a local. Visitors could get to know a handful of real hosts and see what makes their featured hometown special. This showcased the value of the Airbnb community and drove meaningful interactions and engagement through media touch-points.


In just 60 days, we successfully challenged the world’s fear of strangers to create positive brand awareness, understanding and credibility for Airbnb’s vision of inclusion.

Now, Airbnb is far more widely known around the world. We saw an overall 14% uptick in brand awareness in the nine markets where we ran the campaign.

Plus, people are more open to the idea of staying with Airbnb. In key markets, we saw lifts between 8% - 18% for the core attribute “Enables local experiences” and lifts between 3% - 13% for “Helps me feel like I can belong anywhere”.

In addition, we inspired people to interact with Airbnb’s site. Traffic to in the US, UK and Australia spiked 3-4x the baseline during our initial broadcast airings within each market.

All in all, we are one step closer to a world where all 7 billion of us can truly belong anywhere.

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