Drag Queen legend Verushka Darling launches Airbnb’s fabulous new Mardi Gras via Urban

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Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 11.26.58 am.jpgAirbnb has today fired its first glitter cannon for this year’s world-famous Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival by announcing Drag Queen legend Verushka Darling as an Airbnb host.

More than just a pretty face, Verushka Darling has been a respected icon of Sydney’s drag scene for 20 years. She has produced and performed at some of Sydney’s most legendary club nights and had her own TV show ‘Verushka’s Closet’ on MTV.

The campaign called ‘Host With Pride’ includes billboards across Sydney and a seven part video series of Darling showing the benefits of becoming an Airbnb host during the colour, fun and enjoyment of the Mardi Gras.

The campaign is designed to provide locals with the ins and outs for becoming an Airbnb host as it follows Darling preparing her home for her guest. It will be seen across billboards, social media and other various channels.

Says Sam McDonagh, country manager, Airbnb Australian: “We’re extremely proud to not only be major partner of this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras – an incredible festival that celebrates community, diversity and belonging but to have Verushka Darling involved to tell the Airbnb story.

 “The LGBT community around the world have been some of the first and most prolific users of Airbnb, hosting and travelling with pride, so we’re excited to support a community that has always embraced us.”

Says Darling: “I’m thrilled to be a host on Airbnb and I’m excited about welcoming Sydneysiders into the Airbnb community. I look forward to providing them with my fabulous tips as I show them how I’ve prepared my home for this year’s Mardi Gras festival.”

Says McDonagh: “Sydney is one Airbnb’s top ten global cities, with more than 17,000 local listings. Mardi Gras is our second busiest booking period in the year, with guests from around the world discovering and booking accommodation with locals so they can be a part of the celebrations.

“It’s a credit to Sydney hospitality that demand was off the charts last year, and we expect this year’s festival period to be even bigger.”

Says Gavin McDonough, co-founder and creative director, Urban: “We’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with the Airbnb team on their Mardi Gras campaign in 2016. We think the irreverent way that we are able to bring the Airbnb message of ‘Belong Anywhere’ together with the spirit of Mardi Gras stands to have real impact.”

Airbnb’s inaugural Mardi Gras campaign in 2015 drew international acclaim, winning top honours at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Creative and Media Strategy Agency: Urban

Planning & Strategy Director – Jonas Katzellenbourg

Creative Director – Gavin McDonough

Concept Art Director – Iason Sarris

Business Director – Ryan McDonough

Account Director – Katie-Jane Michael

Producer – Jason Alexander

Production Partner: Rawkus

Director/Producer – Rick Spence

Director of Photography – Peter Vidulich