Expedia.ca responds to angry feedback with new ads

Tormented tweets lead to tweaked creative

Tormented tweets lead to tweaked creative

A television ad highlighting the most annoying aspects of a typical Canadian winter may have worked too well for Expedia.ca’s target audience.

“Escape Winter: Fear” caused a stir on social media when the frequency of which it aired proved to be too much for some viewers.

The ad depicts a father being frightened by a howling snowstorm outside his home, and a variety of other winter-related occurrences indoors. The spot was set to a screeching soundtrack reminiscent of Psycho that turns out to be his young daughter practicing the violin.

Its heavy rotation during the World Junior Hockey Championships on TSN last month caused some Canadians to beg for a reprieve on Facebook and Twitter with comments such as “I need a vacation from your commercial” and “Absolutely obnoxious.”

Grip Limited, Expedia.ca’s lead creative agency, quickly responded to feedback by creating “Violin” a sequel that shows dad tossing the offending instrument out the door. “Violin” (which launched at the beginning of January) replaced “Escape Winter: Fear” and will continue running until the end of the week, when a new and unrelated “Escape Winter” TV spot will launch.

“We decided to show that we’re actually hearing people and respecting what our fans have to say. We used it an as opportunity to turn it into something positive,” said Rich Pryce-Jones, creative partner at Grip Limited.

“We like the original ad. It was tested in focus groups and everybody liked it. It was intentionally supposed to be jarring. We just didn’t realize it would be on so much.”

A third video, “Violin Red Band,” was also created and sent out to every person who had submitted comments online via personalized Twitter and Facebook posts. This time, the father smashes the violin to bits and throws the bow angrily across the lawn. Text that says “This moment of tranquility is for…” appears on screen, followed by the screen names and comments of every person that complained about “Escape Winter: Fear” online.

A fourth video, airing only on You Tube, takes the strategy one step further. In “Violin Smash” an Expedia.ca representative travels to the home of Cam Charron, who had tweeted “Can your next commercial spot be 30 seconds of somebody smashing that shrill violin?” to give Charron the opportunity to do just that. It concludes with the line, “To all of our passionate fans like Cam – we’re listening. And hopefully that’s music to your ears.”

Brands Articles

Tim Hortons names new president

Sami Siddiqui is promoted from head of finance to president at the coffee shop chain

Sears unveils revamped logo

Developed in-house, it is part of the company's ongoing 'strategic reinvention'

Smart brands are turning retail spaces into playgrounds

Thinking about brands as places may prove to the sturdiest strategy: Bruce Philp

Metro keeps it all white for Diner en Blanc in Ontario

Grocer uses social, influencer tactics and video to amplify sponsorship

Starcom hires Mike Rumble to oversee new integrated team

New unit expected to oversee the agency's recently defended TD Bank Group account

TD goes on another ‘thank you’ mission

New video captures heartfelt moments customers are surprised with gifts

Buy groceries online? Never in Canada! (Column)

Is the grocery industry ready for digital disruption? Maureen Atkinson explains

Square One gets sultry for fall campaign

Flirtatious video features newlywed celebs Sean Avery and Hilary Rhoda

Which Olympic ads won with women?

Harbinger study examines what it takes for ads to be memorable