The Anti-Sharing Economy?
“Sharing is caring, that’s what they told us” is how this new spot from Saatchi & Saatchi London on behalf of HomeAway starts.
The spot is more than a dig on Airbnb, this spot takes aim at the entire movement known as The Sharing Economy. While somewhat humorous (though not terribly) the spot attempts to point out the downfalls of an industry-changing trend championed by many of Silicon Valley’s finest including the great Jeremiah Owyang. Sure, there is a dark underbelly to everything, including the sharing economy, but has HomeAway really exposed it in this spot?
Whenever I see an “attack ad” I, as a consumer, am generally turned off. I believe that brands should be touting the things that make them great as opposed to exposing the negative elements of other brands. In this spot, a weak case is made against the sharing economy and worse, no claim is made for HomeAway other than a mere question that is asked, “Why share it?”
Here are a few reasons that answer this question:
- Sharing is less expensive
- Sharing affords you opportunities you otherwise may not have encountered (at any price)
- Sharing connects you with people and experiences that money cannot buy. This is especially beneficial, especially when traveling. As a user of Airbnb I can say that sharing is part of the reason why I use it
I love questioning things, especially social and business trends. Many companies aiming to take advantage of the sharing economy are, in many ways, a caricature of what the sharing economy is meant to be. I believe that start-ups should start with a problem and solve it by any means possible as opposed to starting with a solution (e.g. let’s use the sharing economy). The notion of the sharing economy is a solution to a variety of problems and for the companies successfully using it, it likely came about as an end point, not a starting point.
I love my privacy and am not always interested in using Airbnb, Uber Pool or others, but the fact of the matter is that each of these companies offer a unique selling proposition made possible by the sharing economy; whereas HomeAway, in this spot, offers none. After all, you can get a hotel room and you will equally not have to share that.
What do you think about this spot? Does it do a good job of selling HomeAway ? Does it educate on why you might use HomeAway? Does it turn you off to the sharing economy?
Looking forward to your thoughts.