News & Opinion

Guardian Labs releases podcasts with Airbnb

Brokered by Starcom, Guardian Labs and Airbnb have created a series of podcasts aimed at families on their travels, as part of a wider campaign to highlight how they can use Airbnb to have deeper holiday experiences.

Sherlock actor Andrew Scott narrates the five podcasts which focus on different destinations across Europe, creating a backstory of the area and community. The first one focuses on Cornwall and delves into the folklore of the area, bringing the myths and legends to life. The other podcasts in the series are centred on Tuscany, Croatia, Mallorca and the Algarve.

Released weekly as a 'special series' within the Guardian's well-established books podcast, the episodes are also available on the title's external feeds including Spotify, SoundCloud and Acast. The podcasts were created in-house by the Guardian's podcast team with a strong focus on quality and realism.

Pascal Wyse, sound designer at the Guardian, said: "Podcasts are an excellent vehicle for storytelling. You can go anywhere and bring anything to life through sound, as you lead the listener into the best cinema there is: their own imagination. As much as possible we use field recordings that relate to the places featured in the stories, but when it comes to Cornish giants sniffing pasties or posh lady dragons roaming the sewers, that's where you have to get creative in the studio. It's all about bringing these destinations – and their stories – to life."

Imogen Fox, executive editor at Guardian Labs, added: "The Airbnb campaign and podcasts are a fantastic example of how Guardian Labs can bring in world-class talent and build a multi-layered approach to storytelling for brands. By understanding our audience and platforms like no one else, we can deliver the best branded content that resonates with readers, and delivers results for brands."

Launched at the end of April, the campaign runs through to mid-August and also features print double-page spreads, a photo gallery of some the most unusual homes around the world, activity articles on each destination and a myth buster on how Airbnb works. All content is labelled in line with the Guardian's commercial guidelines.  

This is the first time the Guardian has worked with Airbnb on podcasts. Its team has previously created commercial content podcasts for a range of big brands including John Lewis, SEAT and the Woodland Trust.

by Lydia O'Neill 12/07/17

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