Roi excellence awards 2010 entry form home away[1]

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Roi excellence awards 2010 entry form home away[1]

  1. 1. 1<br />2010 ZENITHOPTIMEDIA - ROI EXCELLENCE AWARDSENTRY FORM<br />Which category are you entering? (Please select ONE)<br />___X___ Gold/Silver<br />_______ Best Use of Digital<br />_______ Best Execution<br />_______ Best Innovation<br />Office : Seattle/San Francisco/New York<br />Date of Entry : October 29, 2010<br />Client : HomeAway<br />Product : HomeAway<br />Campaign : Sparky 2010<br />Campaign Timing : February 7, 2010 – May 10, 2010<br />Author (and Title) : Vijay Rao (SVP, Director of Strategic Planning)<br />Team Members/Titles :Keith Mackay (EVP, Managing Director)<br />(4 People Maximum) Vijay Rao (SVP, Director of Strategic Planning)<br /> Zarpana Kabir (Media Director) <br /> Mandy Walis (Communications Planning Supervisor)<br />
  2. 2. Explanation of Challenge<br />The prospect of booking a vacation rental is alien to many Americans. Misperceptions abound around cost & suitability - encompassed by a general fear of the unknown. Not surprisingly, category awareness is less than 10%, while Home Away - the leading aggregator of online rentals – has brand awareness of less than 2%.<br />Against this backdrop, we were tasked with introducing HomeAway into the public consciousness. The challenge: How do I build a little known brand – by default a category - from scratch & capture the attention of mainstream America. All with a little less than $6MM?<br />What were the ROI objectives of this campaign?<br />Increase awareness & consideration for HomeAway and the vacation rental category as a whole<br />Introduce the idea of ‘hotel or house’ into the vernacular of the vacation decision making process<br />Drive traffic to and activity on the website<br />Increase rental inquiries sent to homeowners<br />We were not tasked with bookings – given that all transactions are handled directly by the vacation rental owner<br />Solution/Strategy<br />‘Best Kept Secret’<br />Given the incredibly low category salience, our first objective was to truly understand traveler (mis) perceptions about vacation rentals and the key barriers to adoption.<br />From our conversations with consumers, we garnered two key learnings: <br />Stereotypes around vacation rentals (higher cost, lack of services etc.) were misinformed & typically, mired to an underlying fear of the unknown (‘I don’t know what I’m going to get’). This fear was amplified in today’s economic climate, where consumer aversion to risk permeates every aspect of their lives – including vacations.<br />However, a clear articulation of vacation rental benefits (value, space, flexibility) left many people surprised & piqued their curiosity to find out more. In short, their fear of the unknown could be best surmised (& overcome) in a consumer insight of ‘prove it to me’. <br />The above provided the inspiration for our strategic platform of ‘Best Kept Secret’. An organizing principle for our media approach, centered on spurring consumer curiosity that there was a better – albeit undiscovered - alternative to hotels.<br />2<br />2010 ZENITHOPTIMEDIA - ROI EXCELLENCE AWARDS<br />
  3. 3. 2010 ZENITHOPTIMEDIA - ROI EXCELLENCE AWARDS<br />Getting HomeAway a seat at the table<br />HomeAway had historically been a digital direct response advertiser – maximizing their modest budgets by focusing on travelers as they were about to book accommodations. <br />However, given what we knew about the limitations of category awareness & consideration (coupled with our insight work & consumers’ fear of the unknown), we recommended inserting HomeAway far earlier in the decision making process. Arguing that once consumers begin shopping, we’d already lost them – in large part because they automatically default to the tried & true i.e. hotels. <br />In a radical departure from the past, we allocated 70% of our budget to drive awareness, education and consideration. The goal of our so called, Tier 1 media, was to drive credibility for HomeAway by aligning to media partners, content and platforms that would provide a halo for our brand and help seed Best Kept Secret:<br />TV vignettes & branded content, digital custom programs, social media & blogger influencer programs<br />The remaining 30%, Tier 2 media, was allocated to traditional digital DR: <br />Shopping strategy that intercepted consumers when they were ready to book<br />Advanced targeting, such as behavioral and re-targeting, that provided granular focus on consumers further down the purchase path<br />Our intention was for the two channels to work as a potent 1-2 punch, with our new-found emphasis at the top of the funnel driving increased volume & a more qualified lead, that could be ‘mopped up’ by DR initiatives. <br />Building a brand from scratch with $6MM<br />We had developed a sound strategic platform (Best Kept Secret), grounded in a firm understanding of the category/barriers to adoption (fear of the unknown) and our consumer mindset (prove it to me). Additionally, we had recommended interjecting HomeAway far earlier in the decision making process by allocating 70% of our budgets to drive awareness, education & consideration. <br />Our next challenge was one of execution: How do I build a little known brand – by default a category – from scratch & capture the attention of mainstream America. All with little less than $6MM? <br />We had little doubt about the soundness of our consumer work & media approach, but we nonetheless ran the very real risk of Best Kept Secret remaining just that – even if we maximized every last cent of our budget. The key to truly delivering on our lofty goals, was to somehow make our $6MM budget seem far bigger than it actually was. <br />3<br />
  4. 4. 2010 ZENITHOPTIMEDIA - ROI EXCELLENCE AWARDS<br />Seeding Best Kept Secret into the vernacular. The Super Bowl, anyone?<br />Our approach to this conundrum was simple, albeit risky: Utilize the biggest shopfront available, the Super Bowl as a fuse to detonate interest, conversation, and buzz about HomeAway’s Best Kept Secret. Put into context, a single in-game unit (which reprised Chevy Chase in his role as Clark Griswold) represented 35% of our annual budget. Foolhardy?<br />Buying a spot in the Super Bowl, is rarely described as being ‘efficient’. But based on HomeAway’s objectives & the creativity of our execution, that’s exactly how we utilized it. This was based on the premise that the broadcast, not only represents the highest profile showcase to launch a brand – instantly providing HomeAway credibility. But also a potential lightening rod for a million water cooler conversations, based on our national obsession with the game’s commercials. By simply garnering a fraction of the 107 million people that watched the game - into actual site visitors - our original investment was recouped several times over. Moreover, it provided a halo of exposure for the rest of our campaign, that made our budgets appear far bigger than they actually were.<br />In this way, Best Kept Secret became more than a strategic platform, but the inspiration for understanding, manipulating and orchestrating conversations (much as one would do in spreading a real-life rumor): We generated buzz utilizing a TV spot, integrated ourselves into the conversations that invariably flowed online via social media, a targeted netblock, video sharing & blogs. And ultimately (via Tier 2 media), converted this chatter to HomeAway site visits and vacation rental inquiries. <br />Key to the above was ‘balancing’ the extravagance of our Super Bowl purchase with our more tactical Tier 1 & 2 elements of the plan – which emphasized highly targeted & efficient endemic channels.<br />Plan Highlights<br /> A solitary :30 spot in the Super Bowl was the foundation of the plan. As buzz flowed online, we actively solicited, fostered and inserted ourselves into conversations about HomeAway:<br />Tier 1 Media<br />You Tube: Immediately following the Super Bowl, millions flock to online video sites, dedicated to the game’s commercials. The ‘grand daddy’ is YouTube’s Ad Blitz channel. We accentuated our presence with a comprehensive SEM & video-overlay program, incorporating mechanisms that drove people to HomeAway.com. Resulted in 1,000,000+ views.<br />Social Media: Social communities are organic destination points for post Super Bowl chatter. Consequently, we tapped into travel-specific communities to seed Best Kept Secret: <br />About.com: Developed a Travel Insider Hub to provide useful tips & the site’s first ever social media banners displaying travelers’ Best Kept Secrets (generating ~200,000 interactions)<br />Gather.com: Tapped into Gather’s community of bloggers & asked them to share their own vacation rental Best Kept Secrets. Posts received an average of 40+ comments (vs. a site average of 20) & sponsored content appeared in 1,000,000+ member feeds <br />4<br />
  5. 5. Content Partnerships: In order to directly combat consumers’ fear of the unknown & drive credibility for HomeAway, we looked to align with trusted sources of content:<br />HGTV: Developed :60 co-branded vignettes that clearly articulated the benefits of vacation rentals vs. hotels & showcased a family using HomeAway.com. Each time a vignette ran on TV, HomeAway saw an average spike of 50% traffic to their site<br />Travel Channel: Created :30 vignettes that showcased vacation rentals, within synergistic destination-themed programming<br />iExplore.com: Created an America’s Best Kept Secret content hub that included information on specific vacation homes (within destination editorial) & an interactive travel quiz that further reinforced category benefits – generating ~50,000 interactions <br />Tier 2 Media<br />AOL Netblock: To maintain HomeAway’s post Super Bowl momentum & provide a scalable way to harvest buzz, we delivered ~100,000,000 impressions in the 24 hours following the game across AOL’s network. In addition to being a highly efficient ‘balance’ to the Super Bowl (~$1 CPM), it also succeeded in delivering in excess of 500,000 qualified visitors to HomeAway.com<br />Travelocity: We were able to negotiate a partnership with an OTA for the first time (for HomeAway). Integration into Travelocity’s IGOUGO search hub allowed consumers to directly compare HomeAway’s prices to hotels – a significant step in introducing the vernacular of ‘hotel or house’ in the travel decision making process <br />5<br />2010 ZENITHOPTIMEDIA - ROI EXCELLENCE AWARDS<br /><ul><li>HGTV Vignette ran at 6:56 p.m.
  6. 6. Traffic to HomeAway.com spiked 50%+ immediately afterwards</li></li></ul><li>Results / ROI Outcomes<br />Based on our going-in goals, results were spectacular (unless otherwise stated, all data provided by HomeAway): <br />Increase awareness & consideration for HomeAway and the vacation rental category as a whole<br />Introduce the idea of ‘hotel or house’ into the vernacular of the vacation decision making process<br />Unaided awareness & brand consideration for HomeAway increased by 220% & 176% respectively.* <br />Based on conversation volume - mainstream media outlets, blog postings & social media - Home Away had the second largest increase of all Super Bowl advertisers (pre-game) to (post-game).**<br />Earned media totalled in excess of $5MM (media & PR combined).<br />Drive traffic to and activity on the website<br />Increase rental inquiries sent to homeowners<br />In the first 24 hours after the Super Bowl, HomeAway.com received 4.4MM page views, an increase of 3000%. Within the first month, rental inquiries spiked by 500%.<br />Over the course of the campaign, unique visitors to HomeAway.com more than doubled.<br />Site side activity - rental inquiries, inquiry conversion rate - exceeded client planned benchmarks.<br />Additionally, all digital media goals set prior to campaign launch were exceeded (see overleaf for details).<br />“The success of the campaign exceeded our wildest expectations. In large part based on the approach & strategic vision of our partner, Optimedia. Not only were we able to drive significant volume increases to the site, but site-side performance and conversion activity actually improved – something that we had originally worried about. A testament to the way in which we were able to expertly integrate our bigger content plays with more targeted, digital levers.”<br />Matt Cohen, Marketing Director, HomeAway <br />6<br />2010 ZENITHOPTIMEDIA - ROI EXCELLENCE AWARDS<br />*Source: Millward Brown Super Bowl tracker<br />**Source: Little Bits of Insight Group, Atlanta (utilizing Sysomos social measurement tool)<br />
  7. 7. HomeAway had the second largest increase in conversation volume of any Super Bowl advertiser, from pre-game to post-game*.<br />‘So far, the real Super Bowl advertising winners are Doritos, Dockers, Dove & HomeAway.’* <br />7<br />2010 ZENITHOPTIMEDIA - ROI EXCELLENCE AWARDS<br />Pre-game: Average # blog postings/day in previous 6 months<br />Post-game: Percentage increase vs. 6 month average<br />*Source: Little Bits of Insight Group, Atlanta (utilizing Sysomos social measurement tool)<br />
  8. 8. Over the course of the campaign, visitors to HomeAway.com more than doubled.*<br />Additionally, all digital media goals set prior to campaign launch were exceeded<br />Summary<br />Our plan clearly demonstrates how we were able to harness the inspiration behind a consumer insight (Best Kept Secret) - allied to an understanding of the power of conversation and buzz - to launch a relatively unknown brand and drive actionable business results. Central to the success of our approach were 2 key tenants: (1) A clear understanding of the impact & interplay between traditional, digital and social media channels – at both ends of the purchase funnel & (2) The creativity to utilize media as a lever to solicit, cultivate and harvest conversations. In this way, our paid media garnered millions of incremental earned impressions.<br />Consequently, our campaign shows how the Super Bowl – on first blush, an incredibly extravagant purchase for an advertiser with limited budgets - can be utilized as a cost-effective platform to deliver on the disparate goals of brand building, category education/credibility, and driving qualified traffic to HomeAway.com. Not only did it provide a halo of exposure for the rest of our campaign - that made our budgets appear far bigger than they actually were. But by cleverly garnering a fraction of the 107 million people that watched the game into actual site visitors - juxtaposing the high TV premium with low cost, efficient digital levers - our original investment was recouped several times over.<br />To the above, HomeAway saw the second largest increase in conversation volume of any Super Bowl advertiser pre-game to post-game. More importantly, our ability to harvest buzz into qualified leads – via organic content integrations and call-to-action mechanisms – resulted in significant spikes in HomeAway traffic coupled with site-side activity that beat traditional client benchmarks.<br />8<br />2010 ZENITHOPTIMEDIA - ROI EXCELLENCE AWARDS<br />*Source: HomeAway<br />
  9. 9. 2010 ZENITHOPTIMEDIA - ROI EXCELLENCE AWARDS<br />Images<br />9<br />

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