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Ministry of Detourism

Our Challenge:
Build a brand and, by default, an entire category from scratch. Change perceptions and force the question: ‘A home or a hotel room?” and do all THAT with one TV spot. Granted it was a Super Bowl spot, but 30 seconds of air time, we felt, didn’t do all that needed to be done...so we engineered a campaign that would live far beyond the game.

The Creative Idea:
Go after hotels. Unapologetically. We collaborated closely with our partners at HomeAway to create the first ever interactive Super Bowl Spot. In fact, Brian Sharples (HomeAway’s CEO) actually wrote the original draft of the script! The campaign platform, (DE)TOURISM, inspired people to finally start traveling in a way that best fit their wants and needs: more space, privacy, plenty of amenities and the ability to have authentic “real” experiences rather than typical “touristy” hotel experiences.

We created a 360 cross-channel integration, including broadcast (a Super Bowl spot), pre-campaign social and PR efforts, development of (8) web films, online advertising, HomeAway.com site advertising, direct response, social integration and promotions, and an innovative digital experience delivering the most customizable Super Bowl experience to that date.

Films: (Minister of DeTourism)
The Ministry of DeTourism, run by The Minister of DeTourism, is a secret government agency which monitors vacations. From his headquarters, he monitors travelers around the globe doomed to typical, boring “hotel” vacation experiences. His department’s goal: to save vacations. Check out the content we created that spelled out the perils and gives answers, solutions and advice to remedy bad vacation experiences.

In addition to travelers, homeowners needed our help as well.
Our task was also to give individual homeowners a way to share their homes. We created a shareable, interactive “government probe” to do just that. The simulated “probe” could actually fly down into a homeowner’s home, (after being launched from the Minister’s helicopter) and go from room to room showing off the different amenities available. Homeowners simply uploaded their personal photos with some short descriptions and our technology took it from there. Check out how it worked.

There were a few out there that found our humor too edgy.
HomeAway knew they would! In fact, that was the plan. Not to make people angry, of course, but to get people talking. And it worked. (See results) In the “hotel simulation room”, featured in the spot, we saw a frustrated young family dealing with a typical cramped hotel room. The folly that ensued found the frustrated family in a bit of a scuffle. Resulting in their “ROBOTIC TEST BABY” being accidentally tossed against the window. Most loved it. BUT, some found that humor a bit “dark.” Humor is always disruptive and attention-grabbing but there’s always the risk a few will find it inappropriate. To those who took offense at our robot test baby, we sincerely apologize.

The first ever interactive Super Bowl spot.
By making our Super Bowl spot into sharable, interactive content, it’s lived on far past February 6th. You could place your photo—or the photo of a friend—on the head of the robot baby. Then send the spot out and see yourself or someone you love being “smushed” up against the window. It’s crazy-cool. Check it out.

The website became a hub for DeTourism. The center piece for the Ministry and for the Minister who ran it. All the films and shareable content was easily downloaded, watched and/or shared. It became a destination site as interesting as the “destinations” it promoted.

Key Results:
The second “most-viewed” Super Bowl spot behind GoDaddy. 250% increase in traffic to HomeAway.com. 27% increase in inquiries to site. 74% increase in inquiry conversion rate. 300% increase in web views of spot in the first 72 hours. 144% increase in unaided awareness among vacationers. 44% increase in aided awareness among vacationers. 277% increase in unaided awareness among owner target. 33% brand linkage/recall among total market. 50% increase in brand linkage/recall among vacationer. Not long after the huge cultural buzz generated by the campaign, HomeAway.com launched their IPO and...well...all is well in HomeAwayland.

Not Bad:
Not bad for a small agency In Austin, Texas. Proving collaboration and great ideas are far better than huge budgets.