Really in my lifetime! Airbnb’s big update makes “X-Men” and “Up” come true

Things connected through the Internet through the screen may be inspired by stories, feelings and idols, making the heart close and making the soul long for it. We have never met before, but it feels like we are seeing each other again after a long absence.

Walking through the long staircase of Suga Shrine, I imagined the encounter at the end of "Your Name". Facing the blue Shonan coast, the youthful memories of "Slam Dunk" come to mind.

When a certain movie or comic can find traces of its existence in reality and establish a real connection with life, I will be unspeakably moved in my heart, because it seems that we once shared the same sky.

If you've ever had a similar fantasy, Airbnb's summer product update is good news. The worlds in dreams are becoming reality.

Pixar, the Olympics, and X-Men have all changed from 2D to 3D.

At this moment, open the Airbnb app and you can find some houses in the "Ace" series that you "seem to have seen somewhere".

"This is a photo, not a rendering." (This is a photo, not a rendering.)

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said this repeatedly during a summer product launch in California.

If you just look at the pictures, you may get the wrong idea. It's obviously a real photo, but it looks like it was generated by AI or rendered by a computer. Because these houses have been restored in such "high definition" that they seem to have traveled through the digital world intact.

"Carl's Flying House"

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the release of Pixar's classic animation "Up," Airbnb convened a team of 100 people to build "Carl's Flying House" in an empty valley surrounded by red rocks in New Mexico, USA, in three weeks.

Every detail in the house is highly reproduced, including the small medicine bottles on the bedside table, the wedding photos of Carl and Ellie, the crutches supported by three tennis balls… "Adventure Notes" that record the dream locations and love stories of the two people, just like in the movie You can open it page by page.

If picking out details is a tacit understanding among movie fans, the scene of the "Flying House" with more than 8,000 balloons "flying" to a height of 15 meters by a crane directly touches every adventure-loving heart.

"X Academy"

Turning the camera to New York State, Airbnb has replicated "X Academy" here. However, the target is not the live-action movie series starring Yimi and Fazha, but the Marvel animated series "X-Men 97" that was launched on Disney+ in March this year.

"X-Men 97" is the sequel to the 1990s X-Men animated series, so the Airbnb version of "X Academy" also focuses on the retro 2D animation style, and even borrowed a 30-year-old antique desktop computer from Microsoft.

The walls, furniture, and props here have a comic feel, and even the leaves are hand-drawn by the artist.

In it, like the X-Men, you can put on a uniform, visit the beast's laboratory, improve your fighting skills in the danger training room, use the brainwave enhancement machine to discover mutant powers, and realize the dream of a superhero within a limited time.

Ferrari Museum

Across the Atlantic Ocean, the European continent is also calling for glory and dreams. The Ferrari Museum in the small town of Maranello, Italy, is only 300 meters away from the Ferrari factory. There is a bedroom here, all in classic Ferrari red at first glance.

If you are lucky enough to stay, prepare to be surrounded by eight top racing cars and hundreds of championship trophies, wake up in a big leather bed with Ferrari seats that are more luxurious than Ba ​​Zongwen, and watch the Grand Prix as a VIP.

Of course, the most exciting thing is to drive the Ferrari 296 GTB sports car at the Fiorano circuit and experience the speed and passion of accelerating from 0 to 100 kilometers in 2.5 seconds.

Musée d'Orsay bell tower

As one of the landmarks of Paris, the clock tower of the Musée d'Orsay was the setting for the movie "Hugo".

Mathieu Lehanneur, the designer of the 2024 Olympic torch, personally transformed it into a luxurious bedroom. The torch is displayed in an alcove, and the structure of the wooden ceiling coincides with the movement of the clock tower hands.

Adjacent to the Seine River and formerly a train station in the city centre, this bell tower is both lively on the outside and romantic on the inside.

Wander around the museum and admire the paintings of Impressionist masters on your own. Looking out from the balcony, Paris is at your feet and you have an excellent view of the Olympic opening ceremony.

Playing games with "Speechless Brother"

Celebrity landlords are also a highlight of the "Ace" series. Your impression of "Silent Brother" may still be based on the emoji that became popular a few years ago.

His name is Khaby Lame, and he is the biggest internet celebrity on TikTok with 160 million fans. He has made many silent comedies, teaches netizens useless tricks, and has his own set of iconic actions: staring, frowning, and spreading his hands.

There is a gaming loft in Milan, Italy, designed by "Brother Wuyu" himself. After staying here, you can play "Fortnite" with him, admire his collection of figurines, and shoot short videos with him.

The "Ace" series is Airbnb's latest featured category, with 11 listings available for the first time. In addition to the above, there are more equally exciting experiences——

Live in the "emotional control center" of Pixar's new film "Inside Out 2", the "home" of music legend Prince in the semi-autobiographical film "Purple Rain", and the family mansion of Bollywood superstar Janhvi Kapoor.

Participate in rapper Doja Cat's private living room concert, singer Feid's bus tour, and comedian Kevin Hart's underground bar talk show.

Every "ace" may be the home you and I once imagined. Real life can also create the same magic as the digital world. The faces are never unfamiliar, the pulse beats at a similar frequency, and creativity connects different dimensions.

You don’t think of Airbnb only when you’re traveling

As you can see, "Ace" covers music, film and television, art, sports and other circles, and invites celebrities from all walks of life to be hosts.

The original intention of Airbnb is to have the opportunity to resonate with audiences from different circles. At the same time, it also lets more people know that it is not just a platform for booking homestays.

In the summer of 2023, when the live-action movie "Barbie" was released, Airbnb launched the "Barbie Dreamhouse". It is located in Malibu, California, and the saturated pink color seems to have stepped out of the comics.

Similar to the box office miracle of a movie, the popularity of "Barbie Dreamhouse" is more exaggerated than imagined – more than 250 million social media exposures, even more attention than Airbnb when it went public.

This inspired Airbnb that pop culture is so destructive that they could actually do more.

In 2019, Airbnb launched the "Only On Airbnb" project to create unique accommodation experiences around unique properties, and "Barbie Dreamhouse" is just one of them.

In the past five years, Airbnb has launched about 90 "Airbnb Exclusives", including Hobbiton, the filming location of "The Lord of the Rings", the original filming location of "Home Alone", the swamp of "Shrek"…

"Airbnb Exclusive" has initially met our needs for popular culture, but there are too many places to buy, and it often needs to be booked quickly, and the time is limited, so it is rare to find it.

The newly launched "Ace" can be understood as an upgraded version of "Airbnb Exclusive", allowing more unique properties and experiences to stay, and allowing more users to stay.

Naturally, the booking method of "Ace" will be slightly different from that of ordinary listings.

The launch time of each "ace" is displayed in the form of a countdown on the Airbnb app. When the button lights up, before DDL, global users, including users in mainland China, can apply for reservations, select dates, add companions, and answer application reasons.

Airbnb first randomly selects a group of applicants, and then determines lucky users from three dimensions based on the reasons for the application: whether the application content has a unique perspective, whether they love traveling, and whether it is closely related to the "ace".

It can be said that this is a two-way journey between "true fans" and works.

The selected applicant will receive an electronic golden ticket, which has a full sense of ceremony. In 2024, Airbnb will issue more than 4,000 golden tickets.

"Ace" has its own topicality and mass base, which of course has the effect of attracting traffic. However, Airbnb is not interested in temporary excitement.

Kong Zhiqiu, head of Airbnb’s China business, told us that Airbnb hopes to provide a “day to day” (daily) cultural experience.

Users not only think of Airbnb when traveling, but also use Airbnb to turn their dreams into reality because they like sports, music, and movies.

This coincides with a travel trend observed by Airbnb – China's Generation Z loves "hobby travel", and the purpose is greater than the destination. They may travel abroad for a certain concert or animation exhibition.

However, it is not just Generation Z who travel for fun and are influenced by cultural works. Martial arts novels and Hong Kong movies, each generation has its own cultural memory.

So it can also be seen that the first 11 "aces" are very diverse and cover all age groups. For example, the music superstar Prince became famous before the birth of the Millennials.

Kong Zhiqiu explained that Airbnb’s philosophy is to hope that “Ace” can turn everyone’s dreams into reality, so they will comprehensively consider different age groups, regions, interests and hobbies.

In the future, Airbnb will launch more "ace cards" around the world.

When asked if he was worried about a certain "ace" becoming obsolete, Kong Zhiqiu replied that popular culture transcends time, region and people, and its life cycle is swaying freely and endlessly.

Some "aces" are classics, such as "Up", and some "aces" are fashionable, such as the Olympics. More importantly, together they are diverse and one of a kind.

"Ace" is inherited from "Airbnb Exclusive" and bears the same mission, making users believe that more unique experiences can still only be found on Airbnb.

The place where my heart is at peace is my hometown

In 2007, when Airbnb was founded, there were only three guests. The founders proposed a bold concept: homes can be shared with different people around the world, and hosts can become good friends with their guests.

Since then, Airbnb has continued this concept with technology and products, and designed a trust system that allows strangers to live together, making it possible to establish it around the world.

Starting in 2022, Airbnb will fully serve outbound travel. For mainland users, one of Airbnb’s basic functions is to book overseas properties and experiences.

But Airbnb itself does not want to be seen as a simple trading platform. The product updates twice a year are based on insights into user needs. In other words, Airbnb wants to know what we need when we travel.

In addition to launching the "Ace" category this time, Airbnb has also paid attention to the trend of "multi-person travel" and launched new functions such as shared wishlists, in-app groups, and itinerary invitations to help users better plan their itineraries.

Among them, the design of the "Itinerary Invitation" is particularly outstanding. After the user books the itinerary, the order is sent to friends traveling in the same group, and the sharing is presented in the form of a postcard drawn by an artist.

Travel itself is exciting, and these postcards are like saying, please follow me and enter a more colorful world. Before the body travels, the five senses have already been mobilized.

From the "ace" to the minor updates of functions, Airbnb has always been the Airbnb that focuses on people's feelings and connections between people.

A good product should pay attention to every detail and convey a wonderful feeling of use both online and offline.

Brian Chesky said, “Airbnb allows people to enter other people’s worlds.” Airbnb allows you to stay in local people's homes and connect with hosts, friends and locals. Where you go is important, and who you go with is also important.

The "Ace" characteristic classification may be more private and personal than previous travel experiences, but it is also a connection: a connection with oneself, a connection between the real and digital worlds, and a connection between the external and inner worlds.

Airbnb has observed that in recent years, people have become anxious due to some external factors. Then, we need to find a special sense of belonging that transcends daily life in deep personal experience.

We can't have super powers like the X-Men, we can't win the Fiorano Circuit like the racing drivers, and we can't gaze at the Seine River from the bell tower for decades, but we can respond to our former selves, the ones who had super powers. Dreaming about being a hero, or fantasizing about yourself as a race car driver, receives relief and strength.

This may be the most unique thing about Airbnb, which elevates travel to the pursuit of spiritual life, seeing the world, all living beings, and yourself.

No matter how far apart we are originally, we can set out due to the call of our hearts, move into a house with a sense of belonging, feel that we are part of a certain group, community, culture or environment, receive acceptance and support in it, and enjoy the fun of travel.

The world is so big, but no one is alone. Just like us who were born in the same land, we can love different popular cultures around the world and still be under the same sky even though we are far away.

It is as sharp as autumn frost, and can ward off evil disasters. Work email: [email protected]

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