Since President Donald Trump's seismic move to restrict immigration last month, Silicon Valley executives and tech companies have voiced their opposition to the controversial travel ban. On Sunday (5 February), Airbnb aired a politically charged ad during Super Bowl LI that seemingly took a dig at the president's order.
Airbnb's 30-second ad featured a diverse group of people with a message that read: "We believe no matter who you are, where you're from, who you love, or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept." The spot ended with the hashtag #weaccept that quickly went viral.
The New York Times reported that the online home-sharing company did not initially plan to advertise during the Super Bowl until its executives found out that there was still some ad space left. The commercial was apparently put together in just three days, as compared to other spots that usually take weeks or months to produce.
The short ad does not specifically mention Trump or the immigration order, perhaps to steer clear of guidelines that say advertisers may not use their commercial time "for viewpoint or advocacy of controversial issues". Several other ads aired during one of the most watched annual sporting events in the world, including those from Coca-Cola and Budweiser, touched on diversity as well.
Like many other tech companies, Airbnb has publicly voiced its opposition to Trump's immigration order. Last week, the company offered free housing to refugees and those affected by the travel ban into the US.
On Sunday, Airbnb announced its commitment to provide short-term housing for 100,000 people in need over the next five years, including refugees, disaster survivors and relief workers. The company will also contribute $4m (£3.2m) to the International Rescue Committee over the next four years to support displaced people across the globe.
"We believe in the simple idea that no matter who you are, where you're from, who you love, or who you worship, you deserve to belong," the company said. "We know this is an idealistic notion that faces huge obstacles because of something that also seems simple, but isn't - that not everyone is accepted.
"People who've been displaced, whether because of war or conflict or other factors, are acutely vulnerable to not being accepted. They are, quite literally, in need of a place to belong, which is why we've been inspired to take action."
The company also noted its own issues and shortcomings over discrimination. The home stay network drew mounting complaints of bias and discrimination against guests. A 2015 Harvard Business School study found evidence of "widespread discrimination against African-American guests" based on their names.
"We couldn't talk about the lack of acceptance in the world without pointing out the challenges in our own community at Airbnb," the company said. "The painful truth is that guests on Airbnb have experienced discrimination, something that is the very opposite of our values. We know we have work to do and are dedicated to achieving greater acceptance in our community."