HomeAway Inks Agreement With Warner Bros.

by , Nov 23, 2009, 4:07 PM
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Home Away-Griswalds

HomeAway has signed a promotional licensing agreement with Warner Bros. to use the "National Lampoon's Vacation" property in a new ad campaign, which will span multiple media platforms in 2010.

This is the company's first national broad-reaching marketing effort, says Brian Sharples, founder and chief executive officer of Austin, Texas-based HomeAway, an online vacation rental company that represents more than 425,000 paid vacation rental home listings throughout 120 countries.

The campaign will reunite actors Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo to recapture the spirit of the 1980s comedy classic "National Lampoon's Vacation." Created by agency of record Publicis in the West, the 30-second spot breaks on CBS' Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7. It will also include print and online media. The multimedia buy is still being developed, Sharples says.

"HomeAway is all about family travel, and the Griswolds are synonymous with family travel," Sharples tells Marketing Daily. "Our target audience grew up with the National Lampoon 'Vacation' movies, so we couldn't think of a more perfect way to raise awareness about vacation rentals and the HomeAway brand."

HomeAway's last marketing effort was a direct-response television and online ad campaign, which ran last spring in test markets. The tagline of the campaign was "Vacations with more room."

Chase and D'Angelo portrayed Clark ("Sparky") and Ellen Griswold in the popular film, which was written by John Hughes and directed by Harold Ramis. In the movie, Clark and Ellen Griswold take their children, Rusty and Audrey, on a hilarious and ill-fated, cross-country road trip in the "Wagon Queen Family Truckster."

In addition to signing Chase and D'Angelo up for the new campaign, HomeAway recently purchased an exact replica of the Family Truckster for use in the campaign, as well as for promotional marketing activities that will launch next year. "The Truckster got pretty beat up in the movie, but we plan to keep ours in good shape so we can take it around the country to visit some of our top vacation rental markets," Sharples says.

The HomeAway portfolio includes the leading vacation rental Web sites 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.

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