Controversial Super Bowl Commercial
In response to complaints from offended viewers about HomeAway’s Super Bowl commercial, the company quickly released a revised version, which removed most of the offending parts from the original advertisement. This follows in the steps of Groupon, which issued an apology after the game for its own commercial.
Viewer objections to HomeAway’s fake “test baby” handling in its advertisement prompted the company to post a message in its website, saying: “We’re happy to report that the animatronic baby featured in our commercial has been reassembled and is currently relaxing in a spacious vacation rental.”
HomeAway also issued a press release to apologize to any viewers who were offended by the Super Bowl spot. Says the release, “We do not believe the ad will result in an increase in violence towards babies, just as last year’s Super Bowl ad featuring Betty White didn’t lead to an increase in elderly women being tackled in parks. However, we feel we made a mistake in judgment, and for that all of us at HomeAway are truly sorry.”
Because of the tradition to create outstanding and sometimes controversial ads, Super Bowl commercials tend to be over the top at times, putting too much emphasis on being popular and talked about, instead of being what a great ad should be. In the case of HomeAway’s commercial, it’s not clear what the company does or sell. It did become controversial, but as a marketing effort, it leaves much to be desired.
HomeAway has released a revised version of its Super Bowl commercial minus the test baby images that were the source of the complaints. See the original and revised versions for your take on the ads.
HomeAway’s original Super Bowl XLV version of the commercial is here.
Here’s the revised version, watered down to remove the offensive parts.