by Dan Gibson
I'm no marketing expert, but somehow I doubt mainstream America are going to be too excited to see a baby (even a "test" one) smashed against glass.
HomeAway.com's upcoming Super Bowl commercial and marketing campaign includes a "test baby," which accidentally launches in the air and smashes against a glass wall in a tiny hotel room.
The campaign, developed by Austin, Texas-based ad agency Vendor Inc., kicks off Super Bowl Sunday with the debut of new 30-second spot that challenges travelers to ask themselves: "Why hotel when you can HomeAway?" It airs during the third quarter of the Fox broadcast of Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6, as reported in Marketing Daily on Nov. 16.
This year's creative takes a different tack than the company's 2010 Super Bowl spot, "Hotel Hell Vacation," which reunited Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo in their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold from the 1980s comedy "National Lampoon's Vacation."
The 2011 spot stars 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. 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 chain reaction, a "test baby" is accidentally launched into the air and ultimately crashes against the glass of the hotel room simulator before sliding slowly to the floor.
However, HomeAway says it 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, in a release.
"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," Sharples says. "The comic situation is used to highlight the fact that families, particularly those with children, could use a little extra space when traveling."
Brilliant, HomeAway. Just brilliant.