October 20, 2009: Unless you have dipped your toe into the vacation rental marketplace, the name HomeAway is an unknown anomaly in marketing. But that will change as the online vacation rental destination said it would break its first national ad during Super Bowl XLIV Feb. 7, 2010, on CBS.
Rookie NFL Super Bowl advertiser HomeAway joins a list of confirmed returning big game marketers that includes Anheuser-Busch, Bridgestone, Hyundai, CareerBuilder, Monster.com, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola. Analysts put the cost of a 30-second spot at $2-$2.5 million, although companies such as Anheuser-Busch, which buys multiple spots, come in at a lower figure per spot.
HomeAway said it would use the Super Bowl to launch a marketing campaign that would run through 2010. Lead agency is Publicis in the West, Seattle. HomeAway said it worked with Publicis this past spring to test ad creative "in select markets in preparation for the 2010 campaign."
HomeAway, based in Austin, Texas, said it represents more than 425,000 paid vacation rental home listings throughout 120 countries but would use the Super Bowl to raise consumer awareness.
"Our loyal travelers already know they can get a whole house for half the cost of a hotel room when they rent vacation homes through sites like HomeAway.com and VRBO.com," Brian Sharples, founder and CEO of HomeAway, said in a statement. "However, consumer awareness of vacation rentals is still low, even though it's one of the fastest growing segments of online travel. We're going to use the Super Bowl broadcast to launch an exciting campaign highlighting the benefits of vacation rentals to reach more than 100 million people . . . This high-profile advertising is one more way that demonstrates our commitment to delivering a level of support to our customers that is unparalleled in the industry."