If you’ve watched live television in the last few weeks, you’ve probably seen this Airbnb commercial:
It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that everyone in this commercial is dead. This is not based on any reporting or set of facts, but merely the vibe: a slow slideshow, a sad cover of Alphaville’s “Forever Young,” the foreboding sense that a fatal incident occurred here at The River Lodge (hosted by Cynthia)—a drowning, perhaps, after a capsized kayak.
I cannot get over the fact that someone chose an acoustic cover of “Forever Young”—a song about living with the constant threat of nuclear annihilation—for a commercial about a weekend getaway. It feels to me that the obvious thought while watching this commercial is that these men are forever young because they never got the chance to grow old, not because they had a nice weekend in Wimberly, Texas.
Other commercials in the “Made possible by Hosts” campaign also feature questionable music choices, including “Landslide”:
Why “Landslide”? Did this family die in a landslide after taking these pictures, wiping Saltwater Cottage (hosted by Ashley) off of those snow-covered hills for good?
In both cases, the actual intention of the music is just as morose—it is to remind you that hey, you’re getting older, your children are getting older, and someday you will all be dust. And since you can’t take it with you, might as well spend whatever money you have on a nice vacation with Airbnb.
Of course, it’s not just children that are getting older:
“I Will Always Love You” with a side of Dolly Parton twang? Something horrible happened to this dog, the unseen event looming off-screen like a horror movie villain.
Meanwhile, the folks at Airbnb are asking: Doesn’t your beloved family pet deserve a holiday in Miano, Italy before it, too, passes into the ether? If we pay Dolly Parton enough, will it convince you to hop on a plane with your Golden Retriever and spend a weekend at Stone House (hosted by Jacopo)?
I, for one, hope they keep making these commercials forever, heightening the juxtaposition each time. While commercial breaks can be unwelcome intrusions into my live television content, it’s all worth it when the Airbnb-sponsored "In Memoriam" segment begins.
What depressing song would you like to see in a future Airbnb commercial? Sound off in the comments.