HomeAway Opens The Door For Sneak Peek Of Super Bowl XLV Ad 

By Barry Janoff, Executive Editor

The Minister of the Ministry of Detourism.December 16, 2010: During Super Bowl XLIV, one of the rookie advertisers that made a comparatively impactful impression was vacation rental company HomeAway, which ran a spot in which Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo recreated their roles as the beleaguered Griswalds from the National Lampoon Vacation movies.

Now a seasoned sophomore, HomeAway will seek to stand out from the madding crowd with a 30-second spot focusing on The Ministry of Detourism, a "secret government agency" whose task is to save vacationers from "being cooped up and overcharged by hotels" by offering "spacious vacation rentals."

The spot, from lead agency Vendor, Austin, Texas, is scheduled to air in the third quarter of the game on Fox, Feb. 6, 2011, being played at Cowboys Stadium. (See full spot here.)

HomeAway did not reveal spend for the spot, but 30-second spots on Fox are going for $2.8-$3 million, according to industry analysts. Following its rookie debut at Super Bowl XLIV, HomeAway said that visits to its Web site increased 500% the day after the game and that the spot generate a million incremental page views on "immediately following the airing of the ad."

What can you do at a HomeAway rental? Nudge, nudge, Wink, wink.In a sneak preview of its Super Bowl XLV commercial, the Minister of Detourism, who comes off as a poor man's John Cleese and speaks with a British accent, sits behind the desk at a top secret location surrounded by TVs and interactive equipment that enables him to stay on the lookout for vacations gone bad. "The world has been duped for decades," he explains. "And now, the very idea of vacations is in trouble. People are unhappy, unable to truly enjoy their friends and family whilst on vacation because they've been forced to stay in separate hotel rooms. Cooped up, overcharged and crammed together like so many sardines. Something must be done."

That's where HomeAway comes in, offering up a sunnier and much more favorable option. The Minister calls up the Web site, which showcases homes to rent with amenities galore: "Homes to rent, kitchens, private pools, space to be yourself." Then, turning to his blond female assistant, he adds with a naughty wink, "Privacy," which draws a knowing, equally naughty look from the woman. "Add it up for yourself," the Minister concludes. "It's a much better value than the lifeless, soul-suck that is hotels."

The campaign is being supported by Internet, including YouTube and dedicated destinations at such social media sites as Facebook and Twitter.

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