I have to say I am REALLY excited about our new ad campaign that launches on January 15th during the 69th Annual Golden Globes! Kudos to our advertising team and new agency of record, GSD&M, for really nailing the essence of HomeAway’s business with the new tagline, “Let’s Stay Together.”
This time I feel like we’ve really got it RIGHT! Truth be told, we’ve resorted to some pretty gimmicky stuff in the past couple of years, preying on the hotel industry and trying hard to stand out in the pack of Super Bowl ads with something shocking and memorable.
Two years ago it was the Griswolds, an award-winning campaign starring the one and only Chevy Chase. It received a ton of buzz and even won an EFFIE (for most effective ad campaign), and we sure had fun making it! But for the most part that ad was a way to simply introduce the brand and poke fun at hotels versus vacation rentals. And with only 30 seconds at the Super Bowl, we had little time to really highlight the positive benefits of renting a home.
Last year we stayed with the “Why hotel when you can HomeAway” theme and introduced the “Minister of Detourism” as a character tasked with saving family vacations. In the process, we made a major faux pas when a (fake) baby was flung into a window during the ad. That caused quite a stir, and in retrospect rightly so. We quickly pulled the ad and apologized.
This year is very different! We’ve decided to skip the Super Bowl – it forces you to try and be provocative to stand out. Rather, we have a much longer and broader campaign, and have really taken the time to focus on what our business is really about – promoting togetherness with families and groups.
So this year it is all goodness, togetherness, and happiness – and emphasizing where you stay is as important as where you go while on vacation. As an added bonus, we got Al Green to agree to license his classic song “Let’s Stay Together” for our campaign. The end result is a beautiful and artistic scrapbook montage of families and friends having the time of their lives while on vacation, and of course staying in rental homes!
Most importantly, this campaign is as much about the industry as it is about HomeAway. If we can simply get people to associate vacation rentals with better togetherness, then we will have succeeded with the campaign. I think it is going to be a real winner for our industry; I hope you enjoy it too.
You may read the press release and view the 60-second ad here: http://www.homeaway.com/info/media-center/press-releases/2012/lets-stay-together
I look forward to reading your comments.