HomeAway ups the ante with Airbnb with campaign criticising ‘sharing economy’

HomeAway is using its biggest ever marketing campaign to highlight the differences between its service and that of Airbnb as it looks to show that the ‘sharing economy’ can sometimes lead to oversharing.


The global campaign, which launches on TV in the UK tonight (18 January), introduces the strapline ‘It’s your holiday, why share it’. It aims to promote the benefits of staying in a holiday rental, rather than a hotel or in someone else’s house.

Created by Saatchi & Saatchi London, the campaign highlights the plight of oversharing by highlighting some of the unpleasant side effects of sharing a holiday with strangers. This includes toenail clippings and dirty bars of soap, as well overcrowded buffets and swimming pools.

Speaking to Marketing Week, HomeAway’s CMO Mariano Dima, says while the ads might be provocative, it was important for the brand to get across its key points of difference, as well as raise awareness of the category as a while.

“We want to be more assertive about showcasing our differences against other players and clear about our proposition. This is a time of oversharing – people are sharing more than they are supposed to be and some people are sharing actual holidays. It’s your vacation, why share it?” he asks.

“We want to stimulate awareness of why we’re different. We are not part of the sharing economy.”

Dima admits that both awareness and consideration of the holiday home rental category are currently relatively low. He cites figures that show awareness currently sits at around 60% of consumers, while consideration is just 35% and says the campaign aims to boost that.

“We want to grow the category. A lot of people are not aware that you can rent a home for a holiday. This campaign was about how to communicate that with humour by creating scenes people can relate to.”

However it is also about boosting the HomeAway brand. It saw website visits increase 20% last year to 1.2 billion and wants to maintain that growth trajectory.

HomeAway campaign 2016

“We want people to consider renting a house for their next holiday and using us to do it,” he said. “Our biggest advantage against competitors and hotels is that we rent out whole houses.

“The idea of belonging is used by our competitors. We are more about bonding with the people you are on holiday with – that is the emotional difference.”

Dima said with HomeAway investing significantly in its product to increase the amount of inventory and improve the experience to ensure it is safe and simple to make a booking, now was the right time to invest in marketing.

He would not be drawn on the budget for this campaign, but did say it was the brand’s biggest ever and will run across digital and email, as well as being used in its sponsorship of Euro 2016, where it will sponsor the home team.