Airbnb “Never a Stranger” : It’s about being a tourist without being a “tourist.”

Instagram’s Carousel Ad

Nowadays, more and more marketers choose to use Instagram as their primary social media platform to promote their brands and reach to more audiences. What makes Instagram so attractive and how could Instagram benefit them?

Last year, Instagram heard from marketers that they wanted to tell sequenced brand stories in a compelling way to attract more people’s attention on Instagram, so it introduced a new  called carousel ad to help brands share their stories through uploading a set of images/videos rather than using just the single shot.

The carousel ad allows marketer to post multiple (up to 5) photos/videos on a sponsored post and viewers can swipe through them like virtual magazine pages/a continued video.

At the last page of the ad, there is also a ‘learn more’ button linking back to the brand’s official website.


Airbnbs Never A Stranger Campaign on Instagram

Airbnb is one of the first brands to implement this new carousel ad format in 2015, as part of its new global marketing campaign “Never A Stranger”.

This campaign started by launching a video on YouTube with the title “Never A Stranger”. The video sets up the core concept of this campaign and it eventually reached to more media platforms, such as the broadcast spots in prime-time during the NBA playoffs; American Idol; Instagram Carousel ad, as well as in theaters across U.S., UK, and Australia.

This video features a real Airbnb traveler, Ellie, and depicts the different welcoming situations she experienced during her Airbnb stay in five different cities: New York, Rio, Japan, Tulum and Paris. In the video, Ellie explained how the neighborhood was friendly, the home was perfect, the host’s friends reminded her of her own friends, and eventually even become her own. The key concept is that Airbnb can not only find you a beautiful home, but also give you a feeling of home with a warm travel experience.

Based on the overall concept, what Airbnb did on Instagram is to create a carousel ad with sets of pictures/videos showcasing beautiful homes, the experiences of travel and most importantly, the humanity perspective in the community around the world.


I think Airbnb did a great job because it uses a storytelling method to vividly depict the brand personality and strengthen people’s positive perception about the brand.

It first differentiates itself by depicting an unique brand personality. Unlike traditional hotels who are striving to provide high-standard accommodations and amenities for consumers, Airbnb is trying to make sure that the stories between hosts and guests that are shown in the video are as prominent as the beautiful places that can be founded on Airbnb.

The use of carousel ad makes Airbnb able to reach to more mobile-app users; tell richer stories; capture people’s attention (increase brand recall), and strengthen people’s impression about its unique brand personality.

The whole campaign also makes Airbnb reach to more community-focused audiences effectively by letting the brand feel less about just lodging than the place you are able to meet new friends and get a feeling of home wherever you are.

Instagram said that this multi-photo new ad format will drive an average 2.5% increase in ad recall. Agree with it? What do you think?


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