Airbnb partners with The Dodo to create unique animal experiences


For the love of dog! If you’re not following an adorable pet with a big personality on social media, you’re seriously missing out.

Cats, dogs, hedgehogs, guinea pigs, alpacas; there’s something for everyone. Some animal accounts have even more followers than famous humans.

The Instagram account for Mr. Pokee which follows the cute friendship between a Bengal cat and hedgehog, has over 1.6m followers, while Grumpy Cat has 2.7 million.

Grumpy Cat was one of the pioneers of animal influencer marketing. Her comical sad face secured book deals, #Grumpmoji and scores of merchandise. And her owner continues to post, even though Grumpy Cat sadly passed away.

Top pet influencers (much like their human predecessors) can command huge followers and some serious income through content creation and sponsorship.

Ready to dip their toes (or paws) into the wonderful world of famous pets, Airbnb collaborated with animal welfare focused digital brand, The Dodo, in the U.S. to design 50 unique Airbnb experiences.

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Airbnb launched its experiences category in 2016, as a way for guests to explore authentic experiences such as tours and events with local hosts.

Using the much-loved animal stars of The Dodo’s digital videos and blogs, the animal experiences option sees the animals become the hosts and includes over 1,000 trips.

Examples of experiences include Nala’s Kitchen, which offers people the chance to visit the California factory where cat food, Love, Nala, is made. Guests can meet and take selfies with Instagram famous, Nala, watch her at work sampling her pet food, and take home goodie bags for their own pets.

Unlike Nala the Cat who likes to spend her time indoors, Penni Dog, the former rescue Pitbull, who has over 47,000 followers, is an adventure dog and even enjoys rock climbing. Airbnb guests can join Penni and her owner on a hike to one of her favourite hot springs in Nevada.

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Airbnb and The Dodo are offer a huge array of experiences with over 300 different species of animal who all feature on The Dodo. Not only does the partnership harness people’s love of animals to build brand love, it also helps to raise awareness of animal welfare.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen animals at the center of experiential brand campaigns, both in physical and VR form. Previous examples include Pedigree’s insightful pup syndrome campaign and WWF’s virtual reality tiger awareness campaign.