I just saw this commercial on TV and have some really mixed feelings about it. At first I was just intrigued, curious about where it was going and who created it. It asked some really thought-provoking questions and made me start thinking about “the big picture.”
But when the advertiser’s name finally came up at the end — Airbnb — I was disappointed. It wasn’t the big picture at all; it was, as ads usually are, the self-serving profit motive. I should have known better.
“Sleep in their beds, so you may know their dreams” was suddenly a creepy idea, not a grand poetic concept. Yes, I’m one of those to whom Airbnb is a creepy idea. I don’t want to go sleep in other people’s beds, and I certainly don’t want them sleeping in mine. Apparently there’s quite an appeal for adventurous travelers who look for cheap schemes to travel the world. Apparently the idea of living in someone else’s home doesn’t bother them. But it sure bothers me. No thank you, I don’t want to eat and sleep in and violate your home and privacy. And it’s a cinch I won’t be opening my home up to you. That’s what hotels are for.
For what it’s worth, Airbnb explains the ad; but I’m not buying it. I don’t want to “go see.” At least not with Airbnb.
18 thoughts on “Mixed feelings about this commercial”
Kinda creeps me out, too (especially the part about the windows).
As an introvert, the whole idea of this bothers me; it takes a while for me to warm up to anyone new, and even with people I know, I feel guilty if I need to prevail on their hospitality for longer than a few hours.
Yep, didn’t like the windows thing either. I’m such an introvert myself, I just can’t imagine getting into Airbnb. I’m not even comfortable at a relative’s house. Gotta be in my bed, in my house.
We’re seniors (70+), certainly not adventurous and have used AirBnB for years. We’ve had exactly one bad experience, and it was 90 miles from home here in Oregon. All over Europe and the states we’ve stayed in apartments that someone has vacated, or created a second space to rent to us. We’ve learned a lot about other cultures, gotten invaluable local advice (don’t get on the OLD “subway” train in Naples unless just for the interesting experience) and paid a whole lot less than plastic western-clone hotels charge. Plus we get a kitchen, usually breakfast supplies and directions to the nearest market.
I’d say it’s an Oregon thing – the sharing economy – but AirBnB is UK based and worldwide. It’s not at all creepy, it’s an interesting way to experience another culture. And support local economies. We’re going to Russia & Germany in Sept. and have booked apartments in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Berlin. We’re looking forward to meeting our hosts briefly and having their contact information if we need help.
I might feel differently if I had a spouse, friend, or significant other to travel with — someone far more bold and adventuresome than I am. I have family who are real globetrotters; I just happen to be an extreme introvert. Wonderful to hear how much you been able to travel and learn. Certainly such travel is a broadening experience. I know I’ve missed a lot, but I don’t see changing my ways now.
You have a thoughtful perspective. (PS. I hope you are doing well. Is your second blog still going?)
Thanks, Dawn. I’m doing much better than the last cycle and the blog is still up. There just hasn’t been anything that seemed worth mentioning.
Hi PT– i know a few who have used AirBnB, through England and into Europe, and it worked well for them. As with several commenters, i wouldn’t feel comfortable, both from being shy as well as not traveling abroad alone, but a bigger concern on the surface of this commercial is the potential for crime– if i tried this, i guarantee it would turn out to be another Bates establishment or a mashup of Rocky Horror meets Young Frankenstein. Seriously, though, i could not be comfortable not knowing anything for sure about the landlords or their property, even though ABnB makes it seem safe due to required profiles and advance payments, plus the required reading of pages of small print terms with which to comply. I will continue my travels, solo or with friends, staying at legit hotels, motels, cabins, or onboard nice big boats with deadbolts, access keycards, and curtains closed….
Yep. “Go look through their windows.” Seriously? Nobody gets to look through my windows. Curtains close at sundown, every night. Seems the smart thing to do for a woman living alone. Those who like Airbnb, go for it. Without me.
I think it is weird, too. My husband wants to try it. I said, “Don’t bring back bedbugs!”
Eew. Not a happy thought!
We’ve stayed in several “regular” B&Bs in the U.S. All have been excellent experiences. However, It would take a lot of checking to get me to try an AirBnB. In our U.S. travels, we always had the option of deciding to go elsewhere after looking the place over and meeting the owners. That might be much more difficult when going to a foreign country, particularly if you had made a major down payment.
Somehow a B&B seems different. The owners are still there, you’re in a guest room, etc. For a night, I can see the appeal.
One of programs my wife and I like to watch is Criminal Minds. We will skip the air B&B thanks very much. I’m too old for any more risk.
Makes sense to me. Even if I could discount the big bad world depicted on TV, I’m just not a risk taker. Maybe, occasionally, years ago, but not anymore.
We opened up our winter place to a sibling – for a month – while we weren’t there. I was pleased to offer them the use of our our guest bedroom. I had no problem with them inviting their guests to use our den. They assured us that was the extent of our hospitality.
But when I discovered they had even more guests and they overflowed into our bedroom and used our bathroom and when I got there I had to go searching for my own pillow… That, to me, was just not right.
You were more than generous, and were taken advantage of. Strangers in my bathroom, in my bedroom, possibly in my bed?? I’d be very unhappy with that sibling for a long time, I’m afraid. That was a serious breach of trust and violation of your privacy. And worst of all, they lied to you about it!
It took me a while to calm down… but family is family. Sib has done an awful lot of good and thoughtful things too!
I have 4 sibs and understand what a difficult situation it would be. I suppose I would eventually attribute it to the sib not fully understanding my feelings about privacy and when she has overstepped because she would have thought nothing of it had it had been her house. You’d think by age 72, all your sibs would finally “get you,” and yet situations still arise …