The Challenge

With millions of Americans excited to witness the first total solar eclipse visible across the entire United States in 99 years, many brands were vying to capture consumer attention relating to the rare natural phenomenon.

The Insight

Airbnb had recently launched its “Night At…” series, allowing Airbnb users the chance to “win the sleepover of their dreams” by transforming iconic spaces into homes for just one night. A high profile custom execution and contest leveraging the “Great American Eclipse” and National Geographic’s expertise and reach would likely drive greater awareness and participation in Airbnb’s “Night At…” series.

The Solution

Airbnb and National Geographic embarked on a ground-breaking partnership incorporating key expert National Geographic Explorers, one-of-a-kind lodging, contest promotion, extensive social media integration, and even a private jet experience.

  • Astrophysicist Dr. Jedidah Isler joined the two contest winners both on the ground and during a two-hour, mid-eclipse private jet flight to explain the science behind the eclipse.
  • Expert photographer and science journalist Babak Tafreshi, who specializes in night sky and astral shots, captured key photos of the eclipse in-flight.
  • Leading up to the eclipse, National Geographic promoted and amplified the “Night At...The Eclipse” contest from 8/1-8/20 via social channels, as well as extensive PR support and outreach.
  • There were two livestreams hosted at the “Night At...” location-a custom-built geodome in Bend, Oregon, one of the first places in the US to see the eclipse. Firstly, Dr. Jedidah Isler and Babak Tafreshi hosted a 30-minute livestream with the contest winners to drive engagement the day prior to the eclipse. On the night, as Isler, Tafreshi, and the “Night At...” contest winners viewed the eclipse from a private jet, National Geographic enlisted two additional experts to be on-the-ground to host a two-hour livestream celebrating the eclipse with a rapt social audience.

The Results

Nat Geo/Airbnb Eclipse livestream generated 3.5M views, making it the highest peak viewership Nat Geo had seen at that time across all social channels.

Eclipse livestream was featured on the YouTube homepage.

Total 126M total impressions across National Geographic’s YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.

Tafreshi’s exclusive photo taken from the “Night At…” plane was Nat Geo’s most-engaged social post, garnering 20M+ impressions for a single image. Tafreshi’s total Instagram activity garnered 85 million total impressions with Airbnb was tagged throughout.

PR surrounding the campaign earned an additional 4M coverage views across major media outlets

Livestream views
Total impressions
Impressions for a single image
Views across major media outlets