Airbnb recruits Coca-Cola’s Jonathan Mildenhall

Room letting website Airbnb has named Coca-Cola executive Jonathan Mildenhall as its new CMO, as the online venture prepares to grow its global business.

Airbnb is looking to ramp up brand awareness.

Mildenhall, who was named as one of Marketing Week’s Vision 100 list of marketers in association with Adobe last week, was recently promoted to a role at Coca-Cola leading design and integrated marketing in the North American business unit.

Airbnb, based in San Francisco, launched in 2008, has been growing steadily but now wants to make the jump into true global company and part of the strategy is building up strong brand awareness.

It has 12 offices, including London, Milan, Moscow and Berlin and is recruiting for a number of positions including marketing directors for Europe and for Asia Pacific and a country manager for the UK.

Read an interview with Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia here.

The company appointed a new ad agency to develop work last July and most of its marketing efforts so far have been devoted to social media and online advertising.

However, it did run a crowd-sourced TV ad on one US channel last year made up of Vine videos.

Airbnb’s rivals include the traditional hotel groups and other online house or apartment rental sites such as Housetrip, which launched its first UK television campaign last week.

Coca-Cola has just shaken up its top level team of marketers as it seeks to build business after a lacklustre 2013, particularly in its domestic market.

Mildenhall started his career in UK advertising agencies before joining Coca-Cola in 2007.

A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola declined to say whether he will be replaced. 

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