overview

Airbnb wants you to feel right at home, no matter where you travel. It’s this “kick off your shoes” brand tone that has driven their enormous success, and it was embodied by a relatable, laid-back explainer video that they created back in 2012.

While almost everyone knows what Airbnb is now, the idea of temporarily staying in someone else’s home certainly required careful explanation back in the brand’s early days, and their English explainer used a friendly face and a light-hearted tone to help this strange idea go down easy.

As Airbnb expanded, they found the need to re-create the magic of this original explainer video but adapt it to different cultures and markets. Airbnb partnered with Artex to create a version for Mexico, in order to help smooth the way for the Mexican product launch.

Process

Our priority when approaching this project was that the video felt localized and spoke directly to a Mexican audience. We didn’t want to create something that would be an “impostor” to its target audience.

To this aim, we worked with Airbnb’s in-house team to create a draft of the script that was not only translated but truly localized, using Mexican turns of phrase and flourishes that were very specific to Mexico and not the LatinX community as a whole.

We were also very specific about who we were looking for to be our spokesperson. We needed somebody who would capture the casual, effortless friendliness of the talent from the original video, but also somebody who looked and sounded specifically Mexican.

We also wanted to film in locations that felt regional to where Mexicans live and travel. Even though we were approached about filming in Miami, we eventually suggested the move to Los Angeles, as the mountainous terrain and the quality of the light there would paint a more honest picture.

And even though the original English video is simple to the point of being charming, we wanted to make something that was honest to the content and tone of the reference while adding our signature cinematic flair. We wanted to add a moving camera that seemed to propel the audience through the script, and we added meaningful and thoughtful intention behind each movement, with extra attention to how they might all cut together in post.

Through a combination of lighting, props, and location choices, we wanted each scene to have its own individual charm and evoke potential vacation experiences in the mind of the viewer with every cut.

Result

This video helped Airbnb roll out their product launch in Mexico and was used in placed media buys throughout the region, both in shorter :15 and full-length :90 formats.

Artex was responsible for the conceptualization, scripting, treatment, production, and post-production for this project.

We were honored with an ADDY award from the American Advertising Federation for our accomplishments in this project in the category of Online Commercial and the film craft field of Cinematography.