Cannes Lions

Night at The Shark Aquarium

AIRBNB, San Francisco / AIRBNB / 2016

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The big idea: SLEEP WITH SHARKS.

That gets your attention, doesn’t it?

Sharks are among the most feared--and most misunderstood--animals in the world.

Children and adults alike dread the water’s depths, imagining that a shark invisibly encircles them. Yet we are more likely to die by a falling coconut, popping champagne cork or taking a selfie than by an attack from this creature.

In 2016, Airbnb and the Paris Aquarium gave three lucky winners (one from EMEA, one from APAC and one from The Americas) a chance to sleep in the first-ever submarine bedroom among 35 majestic beings. And change the way they see sharks forever.


When we say sleep with the sharks, we mean sleep with the sharks. We built a 360-degree submarine room submerged in the middle of a giant shark aquarium at the Aquarium de Paris (the first aquarium built anywhere in the world.)

Three lucky winners and theirs guests were welcomed by host, Fred Buyle, a world record-breaking freediver, underwater photographer, and shark enthusiast. He swam alongside the sharks, the ideal introduction to your neighbors for the night.

We implemented the PR plan above and the story caught fire, generating more than 300 media hits in the first 24 hours, resulting in more signups and entries.

For the actual visit, we executed an additional PR push:

* Invited consumer media to attend any night (focus on press agencies, TV and quality online / visual publications)

* A dozen of media in total attended the arrivals of the guests.


1,000+ media stories, worldwide

63,000 entries (a record for Airbnb contests/promotions) from 165 countries

28,686 new customer sign-ups

The custom room was donated to the Aquarium to be used by scientists to conduct research on shark behavior


27.5 million Twitter impressions


Shark Instagram series is one of the most most commented on IG post of all time for the company. 76,800 views of the video (8.2k likes and 1,392 comments in first 24 hours)


3.3K likes, 2,2k shares, and 1.6k comments

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Categories Outdoor

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Categories Outdoor

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