Today HomeAway released a rather funny and awkward commercial making AirBnB look creepier than the Bates Hotel in the movie Psycho!
In the video, HomeAway highlights the darkside of “the sharing economy.” It’s a bit scary the way they’ve presented the sharing of accommodations, but that’s exactly what they were going for.
So why am I sharing this? (no pun intended)
Well I want to keep you in the loop of what’s happening with HomeAway and Airbnb, but what I really want to do in this blog post is show you what effective vacation rental marketing looks like and what the marketing tips I’ve written about look like when implemented.
This way you can better understand how it all falls into place so you can create extraordinary content for your own vacation rental business.
In their video ad, HomeAway is using the 3 e’s of marketing that I teach about here.
Can you see how they are using these 3 e’s?
These 3 e’s camouflage ads, making them look less like ads and more like interesting content that people actually want to consume and share with someone else.
Just think… if it weren’t interesting, I wouldn’t be writing about it and sharing it with you. This is the same thing you want your content and blogs to do.
You want it to be consumed and shared. That’s why you have to embrace the 3 e’s in your vacation rental marketing strategy.
I believe HomeAway has done a brilliant job with this video.
The first thing they are doing right is making people think by proposing the question “why share it?” in the title of the campaign.
Why should you share your vacation with strangers?
It’s a thought-provoking question, and question formats are extremely powerful for marketing and sales material. A question requires a response from you. It makes you think and it opens you up to be receptive to information.
This is step one to convincing people.
The second thing they are doing right is keeping people interested. 45% Of Viewers Will Stop Watching A Video After 1 Minute. This ad is perfectly timed at 60 seconds, making this content more shareable.
In the ad, HomeAway educates people about problems that could occur with sharing personal spaces.
It shows various possible scenarios that can happen when sharing a home with a stranger. For instance, we see a family watching TV while their host (a rather grungy guy) is clipping his toenails right next to them.
They also show a lady gagging as she reaches for a hairy bar of soap… yuck!
We’ve been talking a lot about brands and as an industry, we are beginning to understand the importance of developing a vacation rental brand.
In a recent blog about creating a vacation rental brand with hospitality expert Eric Mason, I shared that you need to find your competition’s achilles heal and expose it to the world.
This creates differentiators with your rental brand and separates you from the others in your space.
I also used this strategy in a post where I point out the ten biggest problems with my competitors.
This is exactly what HomeAway is doing with AirBnB by pointing out their flaws and weaknesses.
And they do this while making it very entertaining.
Humor is one of the best tools used in marketing, and this ad does a great job of incorporating it to entertain viewers.
But while humor is very effective for your vacation rental marketing plan, it does come with some warnings.
Know your audience and what would be considered appropriate to them.
For example. the last video HomeAway did was meant to be funny but resulted in a public apology because in the video the actors threw a baby against a clear glass wall and this really upset some people.
You can see how not to use humor in their last video.
How are you feeling after watching the video ad? What did you think after viewing the scene of the guy watching the couple as they sleep?
I personally think this was the most fearful scenario, and I think that scene is going to make some people think twice before booking AirBnB. What about you?
The ad does an excellent job of instilling fear among viewers, which is exactly what they intended.
We all can learn a lot and take away some great insight when taking a close look at this HomeAway ad and why it works.
What do think? Please share your comments below.