When this year’s Winter Olympic Games began in Sochi, Russia, things didn’t go quite as planned. Journalists arrived to find their hotel rooms only half-finished. So they turned to Twitter to complain about their bad experiences and a hashtag was born: #SochiProblems
Right away, Airbnb, the world’s largest hospitality company (with over 500 listings in Sochi), seized the opportunity for a real-time marketing, responding to journalists' problems directly via Twitter.
All of a sudden the #SochiProblems hashtag had become a conversation about Airbnb. The brand appeared to be one of the biggest sponsors at the Winter Olympics, all without sponsoring anything.