Home Hotels Hilton vs. Airbnb: Battle Lines Have Been Drawn

Hilton vs. Airbnb: Battle Lines Have Been Drawn

by SharonKurheg

Hotels have been around for a long time. Centuries, in fact (Psst! Here’s a brief history of hotels & motels). Over time, different hotel brands and come and gone, and people have always compared, say, Hyatt to Marriott. But on the whole, a hotel was still a hotel; save for room layout, what kid of restaurants they did or didn’t have, or how comfortable the beds were, they were still basically the same – a room or two to keep your stuff and sleep.

It wasn’t until Airbnb came about in 2008 that hotels had competition with an entity other than, well, other hotels. Airbnbs offered rooms, apartments, or even entire homes for rental. And they weren’t owned or franchised by a hotel company – they were owned by private citizens (well, until recently; several Airbnbs – sometimes whole apartment buildings or home developments – are now owned by corporations. But that would be another post).

When the place you’re staying is owned or franchised by a hotel company, you expect a certain level of quality. Granted, a Motel 6 isn’t going to be as fancy as a Waldorf-Astoria. And even some lower end name brand hotels can hold nasty surprises. But overall, people are able to accurately determine what type of experience they’ll have, simply because they’re staying at that name brand hotel property. It’s like eating at McDonald’s or Hard Rock Cafe – regardless of where you are, you generally know what you’re going to get.

The same can’t always be said about staying at an Airbnb (or VBRO, for that matter). Granted, most Airbnb stays are fine. But because you’re staying with, essentially, an unknown, you never know when you may have surprises that you generally don’t encounter at hotels. Stuff like:

So yeah, sometimes Airbnb stays can just be nightmares. In fact, if you Google “airbnb nightmares,” you’ll see what thousands of people have said they’ve encountered – filth, scary location, etc.

Welp, whoever does advertising for Hilton apparently just took those problems and ran with them. Take a look at their newest ad campaign:

The narrative for the commercial is just as good:

When you prefer a dream vacation over a rental nightmare, it matters where you stay. Hilton. For the Stay.

They have a few other creative commercials for the campaign – you can see them here. But that whole “When you prefer a dream vacation over a rental nightmare” line? Dude, the gauntlet has been thrown and the battle lines have been drawn. Sorry not sorry, Airbnb, VBRO, etc.

Well done, Hilton. Well done.

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1 comment

BC August 1, 2022 - 7:44 pm

While I actually agree with the premise of the ad, they leave themselves vulnerable. It wouldn’t take a day for an ad team to snip horrific reviews from Hilton properties (no one will understand that they don’t actually own the hotels) and fire it back at them. They can show a picture of a VRBP beach house or castle and then put up a crappy Hampton. “Read Reviews. You decide.”


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