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Live There 3D Split Narrative Film

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Travel should be unique and rewarding, but for most travellers, the experience has become an impersonal and inauthentic slog through the same places, the same activities, and the same staged photos. In an effort to make the planning process more straightforward and convenient, the tourism industry has turned travel into a commoditised experience for the masses. Most travellers are mere tourists, visiting and viewing destinations at an arm’s—or a selfie stick’s—length. 

Airbnb is the antithesis of cookie-cutter travel. With Airbnb, travellers aren’t confined to the same standard thoroughfares and tourist traps. Instead, with help from their Airbnb host, travellers can experience a destination as if they live there, immersing themselves in the local culture. 

Despite its more authentic approach, Airbnb awareness was still relatively low in the US, UK and Australia. For Airbnb’s “Live There” campaign, Starcom was tasked with raising brand awareness and demonstrating to travellers from these key markets that Airbnb makes people feel a part of the culture in another place. 


While many travellers resent tourist clichés, they feel resigned to today’s mass travel experience, left to visit crowded sites from the pages of a guidebook and stand in lines to take the same pictures as everybody else. To inspire people to travel more authentically, the agency developed a strategy that would show them the difference between two modes of tourism simultaneously. 

Starcom's idea was to demonstrate what makes Airbnb special through a side-by-side traveller narrative film. One story would tell the conventional mass tourist experience, the other an authentic Airbnb “Live There” local experience. It would tap into the power of Cinema to gather captive viewers across key markets, but it wanted to do something more than just run the videos side-by-side. 


In a global first, the agency leveraged new 3D technology to execute a split-narrative cinematic experience. Wearing specialized Airbnb bifocal glasses with adapted 3D technology, moviegoers could see two different versions of the same trip simultaneously, tilting their heads up or down to change their view. Moviegoers could choose between “Live There,” the Airbnb local experience, juxtaposed with “Don’t Go There,” showing mass tourism. Looking down, viewers lived like a local; looking up, they saw what a mass tourist would. 

Before the mini-movie began, an on-screen message prompted audiences to put on their Airbnb glasses and tilt their heads to change perspective. Then, the film began by asking, “How do you want to see Paris? How would you visit LA? How about Tokyo? Who do you want to spend time with? And when it’s all over, what would you want to remember?” as moviegoers experienced different ways to travel depending on their chosen view.   

Starcom worked with three cinema media companies to distribute the film alongside major summer movie releases including “Finding Dory” in major theaters in the US with NCM, the UK with DCM and Australia with Val Morgan.  


The split-screen film experiences garnered nearly 30 million total impressions across markets, demonstrating that Airbnb provides a more authentic way to travel.  

An effectiveness study showed a 150% increase in top-of-mind unaided awareness of the Airbnb brand among moviegoers surveyed, 70% higher than benchmark. In addition, 74% said Airbnb “helps me feel like a local when I travel” and 72% said Airbnb “helps inspire my travel plans”. 56% said they were likely to sign up on Airbnb’s site, 42% higher than those who weren’t exposed in the control group (US). 

In only two weeks, it saw 11 trades pick up the story and 600 organic global social mentions. As one Twitter user put it, “Airbnb did the coolest preshow for Finding Dory… I’m stunned.”

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United Kingdom
United States
June - June 2016
Media Channel:
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