In the dark days before Airbnb’s launch, booking a bed abroad could be a tiresome process. Now, over a decade later, it’s grown into a thriving global community that boasts over 3 million listings.
But it’s more than just about finding a cheap place to rest your weary head at night. Thanks to the platform, you can visit pretty much anywhere in the world and feel at home. In fact, that’s the seed that finds itself nestled deep at the very heart of their brand values – belonging, freedom, and acceptance.
So it makes sense then, that in 2017 when Australia is the last Western country to not recognise same sex marriage, Airbnb has something to say about it. Using an idea that’s so wonderfully fitting and simple it’s amazing no one’s come up with it before, Airbnb have proved once again that actions speak louder than words.
Teaming up with agency Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, Airbnb’s “Acceptance Ring” protests the ongoing lack of marriage equality with a wearable symbol of solidarity.
Mirroring that of a wedding band, the ring is broken directly in the middle leaving a conspicuous void in something that is meant to represent eternity and everlasting love. Engraved with the words, “Until We All Belong,” the incomplete ring, designed by Marc Newson, is a simple but powerful representation of the work that still needs to be done to “close the gap” in marriage equality.
Available free of charge on eBay, the ring offers – not just for those within the LGBTQI+ community, but for anyone that wants to get on board – an opportunity to demonstrate their support for the cause.
“Openness and belonging are at the heart of Airbnb — it’s at the core of what we do every day,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO and Head of Community. Last year, the government effectively killed off the bill despite over 75% being in favour of same sex marriage. Chesky hopes that the work, which has already been met with a wealth of positive responses, will put marriage equality back on the political agenda in Australia.
The ring, which could represent the disconnect that LGBTQI+ people feel from society and the acceptance that is still missing, is a powerful and creative visual metaphor that works perfectly with Airbnb’s ethos of fostering acceptance and belonging for all people everywhere.
Not only this, “Until we all belong” is a brilliant example of the power creativity can have when used as a force for social good. But most importantly, it shows what can be achieved when big brands step up to take corporate responsibility of the wider issues that are shaping our world today. We hope to see many more follow suit in the future.
Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Campaign: “Until We All Belong”
Words by Katy Pryer