2011 Super Bowl wins and fails

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"Government agency"

Brand: Home Away
Status: Fail

HomeAway #1HomeAway #2HomeAway #3HomeAway #4

(Click to enlarge)

The most memorable bit in the Home Away ad is when the test baby's head is crushed against a Plexiglas wall -- virtually all of the social discussion on this ad revolves around that instant of film.

Based upon cursory examination of the comments, it appears that men -- young men in particular -- found it hilarious. Older folks and women seemed generally horrified. This campaign was a lightning rod of emotion. Strong visceral reactions are, of course, great for socializing a message. But what is the brand benefit of this discussion? Do couples browse the web together and say, "Hey, Home Away! They are the ones that crushed a baby's skull against a wall! Let's rent from them!"

Regardless of whether or not this ad resulted in a spike in rentals for Home Away, the fail here is with Network Standards and Practices. How is child abuse (however humorously played out) considered more socially acceptable than PETA's naked women?

Why it's a fail:

  • High number of negative comments about the ad
  • No link between the discussion and the actual service


Chloe Della Costa
Chloe Della Costa February 2, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Great article and excellent examples!