Airbnb taps Facebook's Edward Vince to lead EMEA in-house creative team

It’s believed Vince's role is a new one for Airbnb / Airbnb

Airbnb has hired a creative director to lead its in-house creative hub in EMEA, poaching Edward Vince from Facebook.

Based in London, Vince will lead Airbnb Creative in the region – overseeing an internal multi-disciplinary team of creatives across design, photography, video, experiential, interactive and social.

As per a job description posted by the brand earlier this year, Vince will also work with outside agencies and creatives to deliver campaigns for Airbnb.

It’s believed the role is a new one for the brand, which has never had a creative at the helm of its EMEA market. At the time of writing, Airbnb had not yet responded to The Drum’s request for more information.

Airbnb has long worked to a hybrid creative model, initially collaborating with TBWA then Wieden + Kennedy, which it appointed to take over its global creative account in 2017.

As well as day-to-day creative oversight, Vince will be charged with “creating a vision” for the internal team’s "continued growth” and recruiting creatives as both full-time and contract collaborators.

His appointment follows a period of flux within Airbnb’s marketing department.

The sharing economy darling is still without a permanent global chief marketing officer since the surprise departure of its most senior marketer Jonathan Mildenhall in 2017. The Coca-Cola brand boss left Airbnb to start his own creative consultancy Twenty First Century Brand, taking his colleague and global marketing director Alexandra Dimiziani with him.

Then last year, global media boss Geoff Seeley was promoted fill Dimiziani’s post. The business also tapped ex-Apple and Ford exec Musa Tariq as head of marketing for its experiences arm.

In September 2018, it appointed former Amazon and Groupon exec Vinayak Hedge to lead its global growth marketing and traffic platforms. Hedge has also been tasked with handling marketing activities for its Homes division.

The business, which had been hotly tipped to go public this year, has dodged the challenges faced by Silicon Valley bedfellows such as Uber, consistently reporting profits for the past two years.

Since it was founded in 2008, it has clocked up more than 500 million guest arrivals at its listings.

Increasingly the brand’s marketing efforts have been focused on its Experiences division, which offer travellers suggestions for tailored local experiences they can book without leaving the app.

Airbnb has also been following in the footsteps of P&G and turning its eye towards developing original shows and content in an effort to create lasting relationships with travellers.

It’s a move that could help it distinguish itself from competitors such as Booking.com, and a process Vince’s team are likely to be involved in as part of Airbnb Creative.

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