Photo credit: Fabio De Paola/PA Wire
CorpComms Awards

Best external event

Winner 2021
A night on the cobbles
Agency: Hope & Glory

With the looming Staycation Summer of 2021, Airbnb wanted to create a UK-based campaign, targeted at families, that would bring to life the unique range of properties that were only available on its platform. But, as agency Hope & Glory saw it, the campaign was also about driving traffic to Airbnb’s site at a crucial point for its business and to boost interest in domestic breaks.

Airbnb is known for its ‘A Night At’ series, creating one-off stays in iconic locations, such as Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania and Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, for a handful of people. But Hope & Glory felt these were so epic that people did not associate them with their summer holidays.

It wanted to find a UK-based location that would inspire mass market appeal, yet still seemed within reach. The agency’s solution was Coronation Street, home to Britain’s longest running soap opera, and an iconic destination familiar to millions of people. It planned to create A night on the cobbles for one lucky couple to stay on ‘the Street’.

Sadly, all the existing properties were already occupied (and Ken Barlow wasn’t willing to play landlord), so Hope & Glory had to create a property in which the stay could take place. Working with production partners and together with the Coronation Street design team, the Rovers Annexe was built – a functioning, portable and on-brand ‘red brick’ property, located next to the nation’s most famous pub.

For one night only, a lucky couple could stay in the twin-bedded room, enjoy a hotpot dinner while watching Coronation Street re-runs, stroll around the cobbles and, perhaps, enjoy a pint in the Rovers.

Photo credit: Fabio De Paola/PA Wire

Working with ITV, Airbnb and Hope & Glory announced the initiative, with shots of every room and even a set of house rules, which advised guests not to drive into the canal after they had checked out.

By lunchtime on the day of the announcement, there had been more than 300 pieces of coverage as well as a ten-minute appearance on This Morning. The story was covered by every national print title, even if it had already appeared on their online versions, as well as lifestyle media, such as Time Out and Radio Times.

In total, more than 1,000 pieces of UK coverage were delivered, each of which focused on the Airbnb brand rather than Coronation Street. Some titles covered the initiative multiple times. The campaign reached 72 per cent of the UK population on average 4.5 times, but, more importantly, it reached 92 per cent of the core family audience.

Post-campaign research found that 78 per cent of the UK population was aware of the campaign, and, of these, 67 per cent said they were more likely to think of Airbnb for domestic breaks that summer while 56 per cent planned to use the site to research holiday accommodation in the future. There were also more than 20,000 visits the Airbnb Coronation Street pages in the first week after the activation.