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Westpac and Airbnb unveil ‘partnership’ flagged in carefully-scripted Twitter conversation

Big four bank Westpac has unveiled its ‘promising’ marketing arrangement with online accommodation broker Airbnb after flagging the tie up last week during an awkward and apparently carefully-scripted Twitter conversation.

The campaign, called ‘Spare, Spare Room’, includes a 30-second video posted on Westpac’s YouTube account showing a new homeowner being crowded out of her own small apartment by her parents.

The collaboration appears to involve Westpac giving away 50 $250 Airbnb vouchers, while using the promotion to spruik its home loan packages. DDB is Westpac’s creative agency of record, and Mediacom is its media agency.

The contrived appearance of the campaign and Twitter exchange drew criticism from cynical followers who viewed the conversation as anything but authentic.

The voiceover on the video says that “thankfully” Westpac and Airbnb came to the rescue and “gave me somewhere more appropriate to keep them while I finished unpacking”.

The marketing push from the Westpac perspective is designed to target new homeowners while rapidly-expanding Airbnb is using the collaboration to promote its own services.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 10.43.22 AMOn its website, Westpac is promoting the partnership by linking through to its home loans page.

Last week’s Twitter conversation started when Airbnb responded to a Westpac tweet about needy parents, before the bank suggests ‘What if there was @air_bnb. You’ve got some spare space right?’

The “promising partnership”, as it was dubbed by Airbnb, is then hatched.

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Westpac, Airbnb and DDB have been approached for comment.

Steve Jones

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