Van Gogh Bnb: the secret of successful campaign.

The ad campaign that has grabbed my attention this week is the ‘Van Gogh Bnb,’ a project that was created to arouse people’s interest in the ‘Van Gogh’s Bedrooms,’ a temporary exhibition held at the Art Institute of Chicago in collaboration with Airbnb! This campaign has won four Golds at the 2016 CLIO Awards and three Golden Lions at the 63rd Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity! Not bad, isn’t it? Let’s see it in action.

Vincent van Gogh’s ‘The Bedroom’, or ‘Bedroom in Arles’ is considered to be one of the most famous paintings in the world. There are 3 versions of ‘The Bedroom,’ created by the artist from 1888 to 1889, hang in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Paris’s Musée d’Orsay and Chicago’s Art Institute. The ‘Van Gogh’s Bedrooms’ exhibition in Chicago reunites all these three versions for the first time in North America.

Van Gogh Bnb (via)

The Art Institute of Chicago in partnership with the agency Leo Burnett and AirBnb, recreated the painting. What is more, instead of just looking at the painting, people were invited to spend a night inside Van Gogh’s room to get closer to the artist! We can read from the listing on the website that ‘this room will make you feel like you’re living in a painting. It’s decorated in a Post-Impressionist style, reminiscent of Southern France and times gone by. Its furniture, bright colors, and artwork will give you the experience of a lifetime.’

Well, they didn’t stop there. The most incredible thing I’ve ever heard was that the room was hosted by Van Gogh himself and rented to everyone on Airbnb at a price as much as $10 with explanation ’I’m charging $10 for no other reason than that I need to buy paint. However, I will be happy to provide you with tickets to my exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago.’ Smart move, isnt’it?

Van Gogh Bnb
Van Gogh Bnb (via)

People were thrilled! The first block of nights were sold out in 5 minutes after the project was launched. Withing one week the story had been covered by media in over 100 countries. The ‘Van Gogh’s Bedrooms’ exhibition online tickets sale up 250% and it was the highest attend exhibit in 15 years!

Van Gogh Bnb (via)

Futhermore, for “Van Gogh BnB,” project Leo Burnett Chicago got a lot of awards: six Cannes Lions, including one Gold Lion and two Silver Lions in Direct, and two Gold Lions and one Silver Lion in Promo & Activation at the 63rd Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity that was held in June.

In addition, the agency has also won six Clios: four golds in the Brand Design, Out of Home, Branded Entertainment and Engagement/Experiential categories and silver in the Public Relations category and bronze in Direct. The campaign had a great success!


To my mind, this is the sort of campaign that shows how powerful the experiential marketing and storytelling can be to engage with consumers on a deeper, emotional level.

What to you think of it? 😉

Read more about Ambient Marketing

Read more about Leo Burnett

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72 thoughts on “Van Gogh Bnb: the secret of successful campaign.

  1. It’s nice that Airbnb is doing this. This will make staying there an experience and not just a place that you go to for accommodations during your stay in the country! I love it!

  2. I LOVE ART. This is just another way to express appreciation from it! I am also a fan of Airbnb. I like the idea of their business and have tried their service myself. I would love to try staying here. It would feel surreal I bet 🙂

  3. I have never stayed in a bnb so would definitely want to check this out. I have stayed in hostels and they were good but the growing popularity of staying with bnb makes me want to book it right away for my next holiday destination.

  4. This is so cool! Travel and arts combined 😀 There are lots of good accommodation from Airbnb, but of could you have to make further research about it, before placing the final booking.

  5. Excellent marketing strategy ! On my last trip to Chicago, I saw The ‘Van Gogh’s Bedrooms’ exhibition at the Art Institute and loved it!

  6. Airbnb is best for travel accomodation. This campaing is very nice. I liked so much. This is something new in marketing era, nice touch of art in online marketing. Thank you for sharing this with us

  7. I love the campaign. Very smart and thought through! I had never heard of it before. But I like how they did this campaign. And I like Van Gogh’s paintings as well :).

  8. I absolutely love this! Van Gogh is my favorite artist. Not only was he an amazing artist who’s work has inspired me SO many times (I’m actually thinking of painting a Starry Night tribute chair), he lived a fascinating life. I love “living” Van Gogh art tributes. Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

  9. Sounds like a wonderful campaign. Being a fan of a fan of Airbnb I love how they are implementing such wonderful ideas in to their business and surely a great marketing strategy that many could learn from!

  10. Wow! That is really, really, really cool! To be able to spend the night in THAT room?!?! And it was awesome because it brought a lot of attention t the Art Institute of Chicago! Very well played!

  11. I have used Airbnb several times when traveling and have loved it! I love that you could stay in that room … of course it sold out so quickly!


  12. Staying in Vang Gogh bedroom is an unique experience. I’ve never use Airbnb to be honest, but this is a great campaign to have people attention of art exhibition, and staying in an art room.

  13. every day new learning.. new ways to try and explore…. and ads campaigns are really part of life being in blogging and ecommerce. Thanks for such a good post. Loved reading it !!!

  14. Great campaign and thank you for sharing! I’m in Chicago and need to check this out. Thank you for your informative article.

  15. hahaha i would so spend a night or two there. Hmm to be honest I haven’t ever seen this painting of his but I do know the artist and love his works. Great job on this awesome featured initiative and promotion of art.

  16. I saw this ad campaign last month online and it helps me admire and learn to appreciate Van Gogh more. The concept is genius!

  17. Not bad at all! This campaign is really good. As a fun of art and galleries it’s sometimes important to make ads like these.

  18. Si, vede che apprezzi anche tu Van Gogh. Comunque, questa cosa di trascorrere una notte nella stanza del famoso pittore mi incuriosisce davvero tanto e quasi quasi partire solo per questo.

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