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Vrbo Commercial Featuring John Legend

MattR

Attaché
Inner Circle
Thanks for your perspective Matt. I think this is an incredible commercial by VRBO and certainly, will lift the overall view of what our industry means to so many. Kudos for calling it out and big Kudos to VRBO for taking the lead once again.
 

Debi

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Wing Fighter
Having just returned from a week-long extravaganza with family and making up for pandemic isolation, we celebrated our 50th anniversary, a college graduation, a birthday and 2 new jobs. We could have been this commercial which touches the emotion of bridging separateness and reuniting with loved ones. Plus we booked through Vrbo. :D This commercial, in my mind, is the best they have done. I hope it brings all of us increased bookings!
 

ToonTownRob

Envoy
Inner Circle
A few thoughts…

While it's really great and sexy to feature bmw, cadillac and porche properties, most people are driving Toyotas and chevys. They strive to be inclusive in the people they show, but not in the properties. I think this is a huge mistake… preparing many people for big expectations and a big let down.

Does VRBO ever think about the broader implications of what they do?

Can I rent John Legends house? Or one like it? Perhaps, but unlikely.

The pandemic isn’t over. Happy people hugging without masks is indeed joyous, but likely still irresponsible. It’s going to still be another 6-12 months minimum before fully letting our guard down. Is this too soon? And even dangerous messaging?
It is possible to travel safely, but is this it?

This pushes the use of vacation rentals as event venues, which they are not. Nor should they be seen that way. I’m getting more and more inquiries from people who want to rent one day and invite twenty families in eight cars over for the day. My neighbours are not going to appreciate that every weekend.

I felt great joy in seeing happy smiling people reuniting. It’s wonderful in that respect.
 

Robin

Counselor
Inner Circle
This is inspirational content from VRBO that will create a rising tide for our whole industry. I am totally OK with the idea that the first time someone books a vacation home is through VRBO - they deserve the ROI. It's up to us to take the opportunity to form lasting relationships with these guests that will encourage them to book direct if they return. We can also use this opportunity to educate our guests that while VRBO is a great place to research the options in the destination of our choice, the real insider secret is to track down the individual VRM for the property you want and book direct for the best deal and best service.
 

Mark

Envoy
Inner Circle
Wing Fighter
I think this is an advertising masterpiece by VRBO. It is so much better than past efforts that horrified hosts by showing kids jumping up and down on furniture or an overloaded BBQ/swim party.

The feeling of hope, positivity, connectedness, and gathering conveyed (in both images and iconic music) is perfect for touching the emotions and needs that so many mainstream travelers have right now.

As a friend, son, parent, and new grandparent (eek!), I can totally relate to the feeling of emergence and reconnecting with loved ones after such an awful period. It is so much better and on-target in my mind than the most recent ABB commercial I saw touting a geodesic dome stay via still photos. I got nothing out of that! There's certainly a travel sector for those unique experiences, but I don't see that sort of advertising driving traffic to VRs broadly like VRBO has done here.

Well done VRBO! (did I just say that?!! 😜)
 
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Judith

Counselor
Inner Circle
This commercial is truly a "Hallmark moment"! It hits the heart of our emotional and physical loneliness over the past 18 months. Yes it has some grand properties but also some smaller ones. I thought the diversity shown in the casting was very well thought out. Over the top - perhaps but it hit its mark.
 

Ira

Attaché
Inner Circle
Thanks for sharing this Matt. It wasn't until I started watching John Legend on the Voice that I appreciated his work. He is such a talented, witty and likeable star. I feel like this commercial does such a great job at illustrating the difference between our industry and Hotels. I clearly can see how I would want to choose a VR over a hotel for my next family vacation.
 

Sallie

Envoy
Inner Circle
Yellow Jersey
Pass the tissues, please.

This ad is all about triggering joy, an emotion too many haven't felt for over 400 days. Nowhere do we see a chef's kitchen, bubbling hot tub, or king bed with a scattering of red rose petals.

Vrbo is smartly selling the experience of being with people you love, and having the elbow room and privacy to gather. Could a swanky resort run a similar ad? Sure, but the genius behind Vrbo's ad is that nearly anyone can afford to rent a house/condo/houseboat/yurt. The casting is inclusive, the scenes ignite the universal desire to be with those precious to us—and Vrbo offers a world of properties across a range of rates.

It's an ad for this moment in history.

It's also a moment of reckoning for those who rent vacation properties and aren't IC members.

A few weeks ago, I scoured Vrbo and Airbnb for a house in a prosperous university city for a five-night stay. Once again I sifted through dozens of listings with badly lit photos showing messy kitchens, dreary furnishings, and raised toilet seats and lids.

If I was new to renting a vacation property, and if I'd seen this Vrbo ad, I'd feel totally disillusioned.

If fact, I did feel disillusioned, especially after seeing a couple of rate quotes with all of the add-on fees. I decided to book a Hampton Inn in a prime location, choosing a "suite" with a mini-fridge and microwave. Even with daily maid service and paid parking, it was a better choice. Would we have preferred a house? Duh! But this wasn't a vacation, and it turned out to be super efficient.

As others have mentioned, managing guest expectations from the get-go is crucial. Then exceeding them. Perhaps with a John Legend playlist.
 

lisafrank

Attaché
Inner Circle
A few thoughts…

While it's really great and sexy to feature bmw, cadillac and porche properties, most people are driving Toyotas and chevys. They strive to be inclusive in the people they show, but not in the properties. I think this is a huge mistake… preparing many people for big expectations and a big let down.

Does VRBO ever think about the broader implications of what they do?

Can I rent John Legends house? Or one like it? Perhaps, but unlikely.

The pandemic isn’t over. Happy people hugging without masks is indeed joyous, but likely still irresponsible. It’s going to still be another 6-12 months minimum before fully letting our guard down. Is this too soon? And even dangerous messaging?
It is possible to travel safely, but is this it?

This pushes the use of vacation rentals as event venues, which they are not. Nor should they be seen that way. I’m getting more and more inquiries from people who want to rent one day and invite twenty families in eight cars over for the day. My neighbours are not going to appreciate that every weekend.

I felt great joy in seeing happy smiling people reuniting. It’s wonderful in that respect.
This pushes the use of vacation rentals as event venues, which they are not. Nor should they be seen that way. I’m getting more and more inquiries from people who want to rent one day and invite twenty families in eight cars over for the day. My neighbours are not going to appreciate that every weekend.
We've become accustomed to being sold alternative realities with the use of celebrities, luxury goods and products, and experiences that I nearly wasn't phased by that aspect of the commercial. Though, to your point about vacation rentals being used as event venues, that's an angle that carried the strongest message to me. There is a huge opportunity for owners to diversify their revenue by incorporating group events, however, it comes with a cost that if not carried out responsibly will be incredibly damaging to the unique role and reputation STR's have within the industry. Something certainly to keep an eye on and to continue to understand the impacts of using vacation rentals as event venues. I appreciate your reflection @ToonTownRob - thanks for sharing.
 
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