How Airbnb mixes brand-building and politics

Airbnb, the online travel marketplace, has adopted an openly political stance on many contentious issues in pursuit of embodying its corporate values.

Earlier this year, Airbnb – the online travel marketplace – unveiled a TV spot that encouraged people to consider visiting El Salvador, Haiti, and multiple African countries.

Rather than offering an everyday brand-building message, however, this commercial was fueled by a very different motivation: It constituted a clear riposte to derogatory comments attributed to President Donald Trump regarding the three destinations – or, in the alleged words of the Commander-in-Chief, “shithole countries” – in question.

The spot carries the tagline “We Accept”, and marked the latest in a growing number of political engagements on the part of the San Francisco-based...

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