Airbnb has responded to the Supreme Court decision yesterday to uphold President Trump's travel ban with a defiant new spot.
The company immediately released the digital ad, once again underlining the value of travel. To a montage of journey-themed clips played in reverse, from a horse-drawn wagon going backwards to cars crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, it asks the viewer to "imagine a world without travel." It goes on to say pointedly that in a world where "everyone built walls and stayed at home," there would be no immigrants, exploration or adventure, and certainly no United States of America. "To limit travel is to turn back progress," it concludes.
The spot was created in-house and produced by Where the Buffalo Roam. Along with the film, Airbnb is promising to match donations to the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) to support its work advocating for systemic change and legal pathways for those affected by the travel ban. The promise is for up to $150k through September 30, 2018. It's also emailing all Airbnb hosts in the United States and encouraging them to donate to IRAP.
Airbnb Co-founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk spoke out against the Supreme Court's decision, saying in a statement: "We are profoundly disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the travel ban -- a policy that goes against our mission and values. To restrict travel based on a person's nationality or religion is wrong. We believe that travel is a transformative and powerful experience, and we will continue to open doors and build bridges between cultures around the world."
The campaign is the latest by Airbnb to directly speak out against Trump policy. Its 2017 Super Bowl ad took direct aim at the travel ban when it was first implemented, while the company also offered people affected by the ban free and subsidised accommodation. Earlier this year, it also trolled Trump's derogatory comments about Haiti, El Salvador and Africa with an online video showcasing those destinations.