In this ad, Airbnb aligns itself with Disney’s The Jungle Book. Success in alignment marketing depends on three things: (1) how people feel about the brand’s partner, (2) the strength of the connection made between the partner and the brand, and (3) the meaning the brand gives to that connection. The meaning is what the brand communicates about itself through the connection.
- People love Disney. But it’s not clear how people feel about the real partner, The Jungle Book. It remains to be seen how popular the film, a combination live-action and animation, will be. Whether popular or not, the film will certainly be regarded as designed for children.
- Airbnb does a nice job surprisingly and memorably creating a link with The Jungle Book.
- The ad suggests that if the exotic, jungle location of the film appeals to you, Airbnb can put you there.
Airbnb doesn’t need The Jungle Book to communicate that they offer vacation homes in the jungle. All they have to do is show the viewer a home in a jungle. How does the connection with the Disney film make the jungle home or any Airbnb home more appealing?
There is little advantage to a link between The Jungle Book and Airbnb. If anything, it makes Airbnb seem childish.
However, there would be a value to a connection between Airbnb and Disney. Airbnb is a relatively new brand. Its connection to the well established Disney would make Airbnb seem more substantial.
But Disney has gotten the best of this alignment. Airbnb is promoting Disney’s film and getting little in return. A link to the parent, Disney, would help Airbnb, but the focus is on the link to a children’s film and that connection just distracts from what the Airbnb offers.