US travel advertiser of the month: Airbnb

Hoang NguyenData Journalist
April 14, 2021, 1:40 PM UTC

According to data from YouGov BrandIndex, which helps to track the overall performance of brands across a range of consumer perceptions, lodging industry giant Airbnb saw a 2-point increase from 10.5% to 12.3% in the brand’s Ad Awareness score among US consumers in March. 

At the end of February, Airbnb launched its biggest campaign in 5 years nearing. The ad campaign involved glimpses of how Airbnb hosts create unique experiences for their guests. The campaign launched short ads featuring pictures sent in by Airbnb users of their vacations which were then used to draw a focus on how the Airbnb hosts helped enhance their guests’ holiday. Timeless songs like ‘Landslide’, Forever Young’, ‘Sweet Child O’ Mind’ accompanied the visuals, evoking a yearning for travel memories. 

Since YouGov first began tracking the brand in 2014, Airbnb’s Ad Awareness has been steadily increasing year-over-year and stabilized in 2018 and 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the brand’s Ad Awareness last year but in March 2021, the brand achieved its highest ever Ad Awareness in seven years.
For travel brands, identifying opportunities to engage and connect with those ready to travel requires leveraging the right touchpoints. While breaking down the campaign idea, CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky said, “Connecting with family and friends would be the most important thing post-pandemic. Now we don’t miss mass-travel. What we miss is connection; we miss seeing our friends and family. We yearn to have a meaningful experience. We believe, in 2021, traveling will be less about where you go but about who are you with and what you can do together.”  
 
YouGov research has identified that visiting friends and family indeed will be a priority for many Americans (50%), whilst escapes to beach locations and combining relaxation with sightseeing/activity holidays will also remain popular. Airbnb can cater to all different kinds of trips with properties peppered across urban centres, coastal places, or in more remote locations. 

The rented apartment/house category experienced rapid growth over the last decade and was one of the more resilient lodging categories during the pandemic. However, audiences worldwide have differing and unique characteristics and even travel motivations can vary significantly from country to country. This presents a challenge for brands looking to attract travelers in a meaningful and responsible way. YouGov’s connected data enables brands to overlap travel sentiment, demand and brand affiliations helping define the best communication and advertising strategies in the US and 24 other countries worldwide.

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MethodologyYouGov BrandIndex collects data on thousands of brands every day. Airbnb’s Ad Awareness score is based on the question, “Which of the following hotels or accommodation services have you seen an advertisement for in the past two weeks?” and delivered as percentage. Scores are based on an average daily sample size of 1,973 US adults in March 2021. Figures are based on a 4-week moving average. Learn more about BrandIndex.