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It was no accident that Expedia aired a new advertisement just three times — all during CNN’s Inauguration Day TV coverage on January 20 — about a young girl peeking over her neighbor’s fence and in an act like travel, that is often geared toward puncturing prejudice.
The advertisement, called Train, will air again regularly starting in February, an Expedia spokesperson says.
On that same day, January 20, when Donald Trump, who today takes steps to build a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border, took up residence in the White House, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, tweeted about the advertisement.
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) January 20, 2017
“Peek over your neighbor’s fence to see the other side. The difference is YOU,” Khosrowshahi tweeted.
In addition to the ad showing a girl peek over a neighbor’s fence, the ad appears to feature Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint in Israel or the West Bank, and references travelers influencing “some narrow minds.” The ad also show’s migrants being rescued near a shoreline, among other scenes.
Is it mere coincidence, too, during an election cycle when Russia was much in the news, that the opening and closing scenes in the Expedia advertisement take place on the Trans-Siberian Railway, which connects Moscow with the Far East?
The ad is all about changing the world through travel, which aligns with Expedia’s goals and furthers its business.
In traveling the world, “you’ll see you’ve made the world a better place,” the ad’s narrator says. “What is the key? It’s you.”
In pointedly airing the ad on Inauguration Day and then halting its TV schedule until February, Expedia joins Celebrity Cruises in airing TV advertisements that take an anti-wall and pro-diversity tack. It could be argued that Celebrity’s ad, though, was even more direct in its anti-wall sentiment.
See both ads below: