Cannes Lions


AIRBNB, San Francisco / AIRBNB / 2023

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Airbnb is in the business of real-world connection.

Two-and-a-half years ago the Pandemic threatened that business. We lost 80% of bookings in eight weeks. But the Pandemic also threatened the core of who we are – a company that believes that connecting with other people, in reality, matters.

We observed what all of us felt, that the isolation of the pandemic has driven us further into our screens, further away from nature, and further away from each other.

In fact, even after the pandemic has ended, 35% of Americans say that they are socializing less in person than before.

We wanted to make a statement on this as a brand, and get people to stop and pay attention, even if just for a moment.

What’s the best way to get someone to stop, in a world where we’re fully absorbed in our technology? Use the sounds of that very technology.


All ads sound basically the same. Our ad Voicemail uses sound as a disruptive device. Photos of friends disconnecting to connect on a remote island vacation are juxtaposed against an audio signature we’ve all mindlessly listened to tens of thousands of times before.


We definitely got people’s attention

Voicemail rapidly became our most talked about ad ever on social media.

Every time it ran, we saw a spike in tweets about Airbnb.

It wasn’t all positive – but it all had our intended effect, of getting people to pay attention.

It even got the attention of some well-known people, with Jimmy Fallon tweeting "Nice

@Airbnb commercial. It got me. #ThatsMyJam"

In a world of forgettable travel marketing, with two beach chairs and a piña colada, we broke through in a way no travel company ever has been able to. And more importantly we made a statement about the importance of stepping away from technology, and taking time to reconnect with what matters.

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Categories Outdoor

AIRBNB, San francisco

Categories Outdoor

2023, AIRBNB

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