Airbnb swoops to rescue of reporters with #SochiProblems

Now here’s a real-time marketing execution that fits.

Airbnb has spent today tweeting reporters complaining of horrendous accommodations at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, offering to help them find more hygienic digs. The apartment- and house-sharing platform began this morning by putting out a general notice using the now-popular #SochiProblems hashtag.

It’s since moved on to sending @ replies to reporters who complain on Twitter. Here’s a message to National Sports columnist Bruce Arthur’s lamentation of living with cold water.

The haphazard conditions of many facilities at the Winter Olympics has been a leading early storyline of the games. The Twitter account @sochiproblems has attracted 265,000 followers in just three days by retweeting images of disrepair in Sochi.

The “It’s a great opportunity for Airbnb to offer influential people a bit of humor and a warm, comfortable, safe place to stay — a vacation from their hotel,” said Marisa Quiter, account director at AirBnB agency Periera & O’Dell, which has a team of creatives handling custom messages for the reporters and pre-checking with hosts to make sure they have available space. They’re adding a bit of flair to their messages to whining reporters.

As of yet, Airbnb has yet to seal the deal with any of the reporters it has contacted.