It is the beginning of year two for HomeAway within the Expedia portfolio, but rival Airbnb is also getting aggressive in its digital marketing of vacation rentals and Booking.com is no slouch, either. Perhaps to the chagrin of hotels, the vacation rental category is getting a ton of more exposure.
Vacation-rental site HomeAway kicked off a new U.S. television advertising campaign right after Christmas as parent company Expedia Inc. is expected to market the company more aggressively during its second year in the Expedia family.
The new TV ad campaign, Get HomeAway From It All, has been aired 471 times on national TV in the U.S. since December 27, and HomeAway has spent roughly $2.3 million so far on the campaign, according to estimates from advertising analytics firm iSpot.tv. [The ad is embedded below.]
Similar TV campaigns, although with different actors doing the voiceovers and pointing to different regional sites, also got under way in the UK, France, and Germany. iSpot.tv’s $2.3 million spend estimate does not include these campaigns in Europe.
In addition, one- and two-minute versions of the ad debuted online this week.
The creative in the new campaign has parallels to HomeAway’s 2015 TV advertising blitz, It’s Your Vacation, Why Share It? iSpot.tv estimates that HomeAway spent $14.6 million on national TV advertising in the U.S. for that campaign last year.
The “Get HomeAway From It All” TV ads advise vacation rental customers to “get away from honeymooning hotel guests” doing you know what in the adjoining room, to avoid hotel “pools that look like the Apocalypse,” and to boycott sharing “with rental hosts that won’t get dressed.”
So much for the sharing economy.
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It is the sort of messaging that HomeAway has used for years but now the company, which was acquired in late 2015, will have Expedia money behind it.
In slightly reducing its 2017 EBITDA estimates for Expedia for a variety of factors, PiperJaffray’s Michael Olson writes: “We also expect the company will be aggressive in improving the HomeAway product and driving awareness of the site and the vacation rental category.”
PiperJaffray sees a big potential upside for Expedia in the guest fee that HomeAway began leveling for the first time early last year.
Now that consumers are presumably getting more used to the idea of having to pay a fee, and as Expedia accelerates integration of HomeAway’s properties into Expedia.com and Hotels.com, it makes sense that the marketing campaign would be ratcheted up.
HomeAway developed its latest TV campaign with Saatchi & Saatchi, London. Filmed in New Zealand and directed by Tom Kuntz, the ads feature the voice of actor and comedian Nick Offerman.
HomeAway will also be doing online and other types of marketing in 2017, of course. It remains to be seen just how aggressive HomeAway will get in all facets of its marketing as rival Airbnb ups its spend, as well.
Photo credit: Among the supposed advantages of a vacation rental is 'Grandpa's wearing little skivvies because he can,' according to the newest HomeAway ad campaign, 'Get HomeAway from It All.' HomeAway