Here’s a great idea for customer engagement. Airbnb is making a short film made up entirely of six second videos submitted through the video sharing app Vine.
The apartment sharing platform has been running a promotional campaign called “Hollywood and Vines,” which crowdsources Vine videos and will combine them to make one complete short film. According to Airbnb, the theme of the film will be to “create a story of travel, adventure and finding your place in the world.”
Here’s an accompanying video explaining the campaign:
Every day, Airbnb has been tweeting shot instructions, such as “a paper airplane soars,” “cup is thrown into a recycle bin” which are left open to interpretation by aspiring directors, who can submit videos on Twitter marked with the hashtag #AirbnbHV. Directors have 48 hours from the time they receive the instructions to send in a completed shot, and Airbnb’s social media team chooses the best one from the bunch. Each shot is numbered #S1, #S2 and so on. So far the first 20 shots have already been selected.
It’s an interesting exercise, it’s definitely got people engaging with the brand, plus an endorsement from Ashton Kutcher didn’t hurt either. But it takes a lot of shots to make a film, even a short one. And the size of the project might be getting out of hand, as pointed out by Devon Maloney in Wired.
A storyboarded, yet completely crowdsourced film means that some shots have had vastly more entries than others. Some were easy to execute, like #S4?s “Show a paper towel being picked up. Let’s see a POV of it wiping up a nasty kitchen mess,” but other, far more elaborate shots have stumped all participants thus far, like #S36?s “an origami bird approaches real birds. Cut to birds flying away!” If entries don’t appear, the latter request might leave the Airbnb staff no choice but to shoot their own Vines to make the whole film work (though considering the medium we might never know the difference in the final product). Such are the complications when creativity is left to the crowd — sometimes inspiration just doesn’t come.
Let’s hope it does come in time for Airbnb’s social media team. If they can pull this off, it’ll be the first time something like this has been successfully attempted, and other companies will be sure to follow up with even more ambitious Vine-centric promotions. It does after all, now have 40 million registered users.