HomeAway Hopes Golden Globes Ad Can Fix Super Bowl Blunder

HomeAway hopes its new commercial, airing during today’s Golden Globes broadcast, will make its Super Bowl blunder a thing of the past.

The new campaign — set to the tune of “Let’s Stay Together,” by Al Green — is much more tame than last year’s ad. The 30-second spot focuses on creating family memories around campfires, swimming holes and hiking trails; memories that often can be made in or near homes — not in hotels.

HomeAway, which operates vacation-rentals marketplaces, including HomeAway.com, VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com, went out on a limb for its Super Bowl commercial last year. If the point was to generate buzz before filing for its initial public offering, it was a success.

But the Austin, Texas-based company ended up having to yank the ad after drawing criticism over a particularly disturbing image: In the commercial, a doll — which was obviously not a child — was thrown against a wall to demonstrate how cramped hotel rooms can be, compared to more spacious rental houses.

The updated — and more subtle — campaign will air in select markets during NBC’s broadcast of the 69th Golden Globe Awards. Following its debut, the spot will air on the Travel Channel, the Food Network, HGTV and other special promotions, including the Grammy Awards on Feb. 12, the Academy Awards on Feb. 26 and the “Survivor” finale.

Second time’s the charm?

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik