Science + Tech

Why Hotel When You Can HomeAway?

HomeAway, Inc. – the world’s leading online vacation rental marketplace – today announced details of its new national marketing campaign, which officially debuts on Feb. 6, 2011, with a 30-second spot during the broadcast of Super Bowl XLV and features a fully customizable experience.


  • Campaign kicks off Super Bowl Sunday with debut of new 30-second commercial that challenges travelers to ask themselves “Why hotel when you can HomeAway?(TM)”
  • 60-second customizable version of the commercial enables consumers to star in the spot by putting their face onto a test baby – a central character in the ad – and choosing to “smush,” “smash” or “catch” the baby
  • HomeAway customers – vacation rental property owners and managers – may also feature their homes in the customizable ad, during a scene that becomes a personalized virtual home tour and marketing tool

Designed to communicate the message, “Why hotel when you can HomeAway?,” the campaign features the fictional “Minister of Detourism” in a top-secret government testing facility where he highlights the pitfalls of cramped hotel rooms and showcases the benefits of vacation rentals – privacy, space and freedom.

In the 30-second spot, a family is seen in a “hotel room simulator,” where they suffer from “limited space syndrome” and struggle to get comfortable in the cramped quarters. Then, in a humorous chain reaction, a “test baby” – similar to a crash dummy – is accidentally launched into the air where it ultimately smushes up against the glass of the hotel room simulator before sliding slowly to the floor.

“We used the test baby scene to create a ‘Super Bowl-worthy’ moment that breaks through the clutter of so many ads,” says Brian Sharples, chief executive officer of HomeAway┬«. “While everyone loves babies and wouldn’t want to see a real infant get mistakenly flung into the air, we hope viewers will get a good laugh from our test baby’s unfortunate flight. The comic situation is used to highlight the fact that families, particularly those with children, could use a little extra space when traveling.”

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James Hicks

James is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of HicksNewMedia, a Digital Publishing and Technology Consulting team providing effective and relevant solutions to individuals and businesses looking to more effective utilize the social interweb. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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