A visit to Blockbuster used to be a routine weekend errand, but the arrival of video streaming signaled a new era. With only one standing location left, Blockbuster has now turned to Airbnb to give fans the ultimate rental experience.
Airbnb is taking fans on a nostalgic trip by offering an “End of Summer Sleepover” at the last Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon. For one weekend in September, residents of Deschutes County—where the Blockbuster location resides—can sign up to stay the night in the store for $4. The Airbnb experience will include socially-distanced “quarantine pods” for guests to sleep in as they celebrate the store staying afloat during the Coronavirus pandemic. The sleepover includes unlimited access to the Blockbuster movie library, bean bags and pull-out couches to sit on, and classic movie theater snacks such as Raisinets and buttered popcorn.
Airbnb’s experiences have become one of its most popular features, with users able go on adventures around the world, in-person and virtually. By working with Blockbuster, the hospitality brand can offer a new and unique experience that taps into 90’s nostalgia for fans. Airbnb is building anticipation by inviting social media users to sign up for the “ultimate throwback sleepover” on Instagram. Blockbuster also took to Twitter, tweeting for the first time since 2014 to share the exciting news. Using social media to announce the unexpected partnership could help Airbnb grow its audience, while Blockbuster could connect with a new generation of fans. Using Twitter and Instagram also allows the brands to connect with audiences around the country looking for fresh entertainment amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, according to a Gartner report.
Airbnb is starring in a show-stopping experience that rewrites what a trip to Blockbuster looks like. By mixing the nostalgia of the 90’s with the social distancing guidelines of 2020, the brands can create an original masterpiece that restores the entertainment of visiting a brick-and-mortar store in a world saturated with online escapes.