HomeAway Prepares to Launch National Integrated Marketing Campaign Based on 'National Lampoon's Vacation'

AUSTIN, Texas, /PRNewswire/ — As it marks its fifth anniversary, HomeAway, Inc. – the world’s leading online vacation rental marketplace – today announced the details of its first national integrated marketing campaign launching on Super Bowl Sunday.

Beginning with a movie trailer style commercial and extending to a microsite with a new short film featuring actors Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo reprising their roles from the popular 1980s movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” the campaign represents a comprehensive approach to reach and engage consumers across a full spectrum of media platforms.  The key message throughout the campaign highlights the significant value that travelers get from a vacation home – “rent a house for half the cost of a hotel.”

“In just five years, HomeAway has become the largest international company in the industry, yet most consumers are still unfamiliar with vacation rentals,” says Brian Sharples, founder and chief executive officer of HomeAway®. “Now is the right time to catapult our successful online marketing efforts with a major national brand and awareness-building campaign that will not only showcase vacation rentals as a better alternative to hotels, but also reinforce HomeAway as the vacation rental leader.”

The multi-faceted, integrated campaign developed and produced in conjunction with HomeAway’s agency of record, Publicis in the West, includes:

National Television Advertising – The campaign kicks off with the airing of a 30-second commercial during the third quarter of Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7.  The spot, which reunites actors Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo in their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold from the “National Lampoon’s Vacation” movie, is a mock movie trailer giving a sneak peek of a short film based on the original movie. In the Hotel Hell Vacation film, Clark surprises Ellen with a romantic second honeymoon before meeting up with their son Rusty and his family for an extended vacation. In classic Griswold family tradition, they run into plenty of travel mishaps along the way. The spot, directed by award-winning director Bryan Buckley, drives consumers to HomeAway.com to view a 15-minute movie. Additional airings of the commercial will appear during programming on media partners secured by media agency Optimedia, including the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, HGTV, TBS, USA Network, and Food Network.

Online Advertising – A complementary digital advertising plan will reach consumers in HomeAway’s targeted demographic.  Online advertising will appear on general interest and travel-focused web sites, including About.com, Conde Nast Traveler’s concierge.com, iExplore, Yahoo!, and Google, among others.

Social Media – HomeAway is also leveraging social media to spread the word about the campaign. The company has established Facebook and Twitter accounts for consumers to follow and interact with Clark Griswold at http://www.facebook.com/griswoldclark and http://twitter.com/CkGriswold.

In addition to broadcast and online advertising, HomeAway created a Hotel Hell Vacation-branded microsite for the campaign, which features:

Exclusive Video Content – Consumers will be able to view the mock movie trailer commercial, full Hotel Hell Vacation film, and special scenes from the original “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”

User-Generated Content Contest with $40,000 in Prizes – As part of a contest on the microsite, consumers can share their stories of hotel horrors in the form of a text, photo or video entry for the chance to win one of four $10,000 family vacations at a HomeAway vacation rental. Participants may enter any of four themed categories, including “Outrageous Hotel Bills,” “Cramped Hotel Quarters,” “Wish I Had a Kitchen,” and “Other Hotel Woes,” beginning Feb. 7. The public will be invited to vote between March 2-9 for the best stories, and winners will be announced in mid-March.

Interactive ‘Griswolds Getaway’ Online Game – A proprietary, free video game invites players to try their hand at stacking luggage on top of the Griswold’s Wagon Queen Family Truckster. As luggage falls from the sky, players have to grab and stack the different items while avoiding flying obstacles that can knock the luggage off the top of the car. Players, and the Truckster, journey through five tricky levels (including a stop at Cousin Eddie’s house) to the final pay-off at a spacious vacation rental. Players may share the game with friends through e-mail and Facebook on the microsite.

Finally, beginning in late spring, HomeAway plans to take its exact replica of the Family Truckster on the road to visit popular vacation destinations to further spread the word about the benefits and value of vacation rentals.

“Vacation rentals offer so many benefits compared to hotels – they give travelers more room to relax, more privacy, and kitchens so you don’t always have to eat out,” says Sharples.  “This campaign will highlight all of these benefits to convey the unique value that travelers can find at HomeAway.com.”

Through a promotional licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, the company has use of the “National Lampoon’s Vacation” property.

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

About HomeAway, Inc.

HomeAway, Inc., based in Austin, Texas, is the worldwide leader in online vacation rentals, representing nearly 430,000 paid vacation rental home listings throughout 120 countries.  HomeAway offers an extensive selection of vacation homes that provide travelers with benefits, including more room to relax and added privacy for less than the cost of traditional hotel accommodations, as well as full kitchens and extra amenities such as private pools.  In addition, the company makes it easy for owners of vacation rental properties to advertise their rental properties and manage their bookings online.  The HomeAway portfolio includes the leading vacation rental websites HomeAway.com, VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com in the United States; HomeAway.co.uk and OwnersDirect.co.uk in the United Kingdom; HomeAway.de in Germany; Abritel.fr and Homelidays.com in France; and HomeAway.es in Spain.  For more information, please visit www.HomeAway.com.

About Publicis in the West

Founded in 2001, Publicis in the West is part of Publicis USA, the North American regional operating unit of Publicis Worldwide, the largest global advertising network within Publicis Groupe.  Publicis in the West are experts in creating contagious ideas that ignite and change conversations.  The Seattle team has created award-winning holistic campaigns for clients including T-Mobile, HomeAway, Citi, Hewlett-Packard, Tap Project – UNICEF, Coinstar, RealNetworks and Washington’s Lottery.

Publicis Worldwide is part of the Paris>-based Publicis Groupe, the world’s fourth largest communications company.  With worldwide revenues of $4.8 billion, it is among the fastest-growing communications companies in the world.  For more information, please go to www.publicis-usa.com.


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