Airbnb Brings Paris To Life With a Charming Vintage Animation Technique

Handcrafted Scene Used 11,256 Parts and Took 2,340 Hours to Assemble

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It's pretty easy to tap into travelers' nostalgia with clich├ęs about Paris cafes, jazz clubs, flea markets and carousels. A new video from Airbnb uses all those settings but manages to be completely charming, thanks to its use of a pre-film animation device called a zoetrope.

For a video targeted at Asian markets, Airbnb created a tiny Paris using 11,256 miniature parts and 1,680 figurines. The 3D zoetrope technique makes them look as though they are moving. (Airbnb made a Behind the Scenes video for those curious about how the zoetrope works.)

There's also a live action aspect to the film, which was shot with four different actresses to personalize it for different markets. As the company pushes into China, there's already a local Airbnb imitator called Tujia that's reportedly valued at more than $1 billion. The video's strong storytelling and handcrafted vibe might be a way to cast Airbnb as the go-to platform for travelers looking for authenticity.

The video is the work of Yippee Ki-Yay, specialists in models and miniature sets, Photoplay Film, TBWASingapore and Six Toes TV. Airbnb has tapped into a similar handspun vibe before, using a model train set in a film from TBWASingapore and production house Cirkus.

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Sep 21, 2015
Head of Marketing APAC:
Matthias Schuecking
Creative Director:
Gary Steele
Senior Copywriter:
Elrid Carvalho
Senior Art Director:
Uni Lee
Group Account Director:
Mandy Wong
Account Director:
Joyce Wong
Agency Producer:
Haydn Evans
Airbnb Producer:
Allison Gay
Production Company:
Photoplay Films
Production Company:
Six Toes
Norman Yeend
Live Action Director:
Scott Otto-Anderson
Executive Producer:
Oliver Lawrance
Executive Producer:
Haydn Evans
Emma Thompson
Director of Photography:
Jonathan Rossiter
Production Designer:
Annie Beauchamp
Model Maker:
Simon Ingerson / Yippeekiyay
Post Production:
Cutting Edge
Post Producer:
James Rose
Simon Njoo
Media Agency:
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