PHOTO: VICE MEDIA
Vice Media has always tried to show what living on the edge looks like, but it’s inviting people to experience it for themselves.
The youth-focused digital media company is partnering with Airbnb Inc. to offer custom-made travel packages in keeping with the Vice’s “punk ‘zine” ethos.
“Vice has long gone all over the world to find the most unique stories with reporters on the ground, but we have never given our audience a chance to experience it,” said Spencer Baim, Vice’s chief strategy officer.
The partnership will kick off with a contest in which 100 people will receive one of four customized tours in South Africa, Paris, New York and Tokyo free of charge. A fee will be charged for future tours.
Going forward, profits from tour fees will be kept by Airbnb, while Vice will receive advertising spending from Airbnb to market its “Experiences” offerings and other products.
“This is something a bit different than a typical ad relationship, in that we are both putting in money and time to develop the offerings,” Mr. Baim said. “We’ve done a ton of research on this and given that we are in 80 countries, our ability to send viewers on incredible trips seems pretty endless.”
The pilot offerings include a look at the electronic music scene in Cape Town led by DJs Spoek Mathambo and Yolanda Fyrus, a tour of Tokyo’s LGBTQ nightlife culture and an inside look at the Voguing dance world in Harlem. In Paris, the tour will focus on cabaret and burlesque events.
The tours will be part of Airbnb’s “Experiences” packages, which it launched last year to offer travelers the opportunity to take part in aspects of a destination’s culture – for example drum lessons in Cuba or glitter face-painting workshops in London. In all,
Airbnb offers 2,500 experience packages in 35 cities.
“The experiences side of our business appeals more to a younger, more exploratory, more innovative human mindset and that seems like it would fit well with Vice’s core audience,” said Jonathan Mildenhall , Airbnb’s chief marketing officer.
Corrections & Amplifications
DJ Yolanda Fyrus will be leading an electronic music scene tour of Cape Town. An earlier version of this story misspelled her last name. (Aug. 14, 2017)