Airbnb makes ultimate use of celebrity status (and Twitter celebs) with Wish List launch
Love it or hate it, Airbnb knows how to play on its position as the Silicon Valley love child everyone secretly wishes they had helped bring into the world.
It knows very well how to tap into that zeitgeist of the West Coast digital scene to assist with almost everything it does.
When “normal” tech brands have a new product launch all they can hope for is a bit of PR in the mainstream and tech media and a healthy smattering of buzz across the various social networks.
Not so if you’re Airbnb, the apartment rental service which has grown quickly in recent years and now, apparently, has a valuation close to $1 billion.
All it needs to do is enlist some of the high profile individuals of the Silicon Valley scene, such as Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and apparent celebrity without portfolio, Ashton Kutcher.
Wish Lists is the latest creation from Airbnb.
Despite the PR fluff yesterday calling it a “major product launch”, it is actually just a very simple (and obvious) bookmarking tool so that users can browse, store and share properties on its database into folders.
These are essentially so-called Bucket Lists of places where individuals want to stay.
But, in true Airbnb style, when a user clicks on the Wish List section of the site, users are greeted first of all with Dorsey or Kutcher’s Wish List of properties.
When no doubt a sizeable portion of Airbnb’s regular users are Twitter founder wannabes or have designs on being a actor/investor/hipster crossover, their eyes must light up.
“If Jack thinks it’s cool, then I think it’s cool.”
It is, if nothing else, masterful positioning of the brand as the go-to service for not only humble consumers but also the glitterati of the tech scene.
Kevin May is a senior editor and one of the co-founders at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and will be publishing his first book - a biography about electronic band, Depeche Mode - soon.