Airbnb to debut 'Is Mankind?' ad during Caitlyn Jenner's ESPN bravery award

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Travel company will debut commercial during sports network's award program

Airbnb is moving to a value-based strategy for a new campaign that looks at human kindness. The first ad will during the presentation of an Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) award to Caitlyn Jenner.

The new campaign challenges the seeming unkindness of mankind by encouraging the public to see others' points of views, tastes and dreams and asks "Is Mankind?"

It links to Airbnb in a more subtle way than earliers ads but suggests that eating at someone’s table or sleeping in their bed is a way to share in someone else's world.

The first ad will debut during an ESPN sports award show this week, when former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner will receive an ESPY bravery award. A special ad creative will be used, which ends by asking viewers to "find out how kind the women, men and trans of our mankind can be."

Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall said the change in strategy was important for the brand, which wants to stand for more than purely being a travel brand.

"It is a campaign that doesn’t get into product or experience. It’s about values that we believe in. We believe people will want to travel and open up their home as it will draw people into the community, it is a set of values no travel or tech brand has," he said.

Campaign credits

Client: Jonathan Mildenhall, CMO, Airbnb
Media agency: Starcom

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