Our CR Annual Client of the Year: Airbnb

A brand that understands the value of design and creativity and that is prepared to take risks: Airbnb is our CR Annual Client of the Year

Remember Gapgate? In 2010 the US-based retailer unveiled a new logo only to back down in the face of sustained online protest and ridicule and drop the offending mark soon afterwards. Fast forward to 2014 and another major brand unveils a new identity that soon draws criticism and condemnation. But instead of caving in, this brand appears to enjoy the fuss it is creating as its new mark is compared to every intimate part of the anatomy.



This was the year in which Airbnb really grew up as a brand. Previously, most of its marketing efforts were focused around direct response and search. In 2014, as building brand awareness became a priority, it ran its first TV ads, collaborated on a number of clever marketing activities (including a tie-up with Ikea in Australia, see below) and began publishing a magazine (Pineapple, designed, like its identity, by DesignStudio). It also recruited former Mother and Coke executive Jonathan Mildenhall to oversee its marketing.




And then there was the rebrand. While some in the media labelled it as a ‘disaster’, Airbnb appeared to revel in it all. A confident brand, prepared to take risks and to commission work that engages and grabs attention – who wouldn’t want to work with a client like that?


The Creative Review Annual 2015 in association with Arjowiggins Creative Papers is available to buy in WHSmith stores nationwide, at selected independent retailers, and online with a subscription (subscribers will also receive access to discounts, offers and exclusive events as part of our membership scheme, CR Club).