StoryAdWeek | September 8, 2011
Ad of the Day: Hotels.com
If you ever need to book a room during a skydiving free fall, these guys have you covered
By: Emma Bazilian
You might have heard of extreme coupling, extreme ironing, or even extreme cello playing (yeah, it exists). Now, courtesy of Hotels.com and Young & Rubicam in Chicago, there’s another crazy activity to add to that list: extreme hotel-room booking.
Y&R is behind the ubiquitous Claymation ads for Hotels.com, the latest of which features a skydiving couple who take a minute out of their free fall to book a hotel room. Seems like false advertising, right? Apparently not. The client enlisted skydiver and all-around extreme-sports aficionado J.T. Holmes to prove that its mobile site is so fast and easy to use that you can book a hotel room in less time than it takes to fall from an airplane. After announcing that he’s making a last-minute stop in Lake Tahoe and needs a room, Holmes jumps from a plane and attempts to book a room (and squeeze in a flip) in the 30-or-so seconds between the jump and the parachute deploying, aided by an enormous watch and “extreme” soundtrack.
The moment of truth comes when Holmes lands on the beach at Lake Tahoe. A jovial Hotels.com employee uses his walkie-talkie (this is supposed to be high-tech?) to confirm the reservation, and gee whiz, it looks like Holmes has a place to stay! Cue the cheering crowd, who seem to find hotel booking peculiarly thrilling.
The skydiving concept isn’t exactly new—McKinney already used it in Lenovo’s “Boot or Bust” spot, in which a laptop speedily booted up while plummeting toward earth. (Do I smell a new trend in extreme advertising?) But for those who scoffed at Hotels.com’s skydiving Claymation, it’s kind of satisfying to see it put to the test—even if it’s doubtful that anyone will so desperately need to book a hotel room in 30 seconds or less.
Spot: “Extreme Booking”
Agency: Young & Rubicam, Chicago
Chief Creative Officer: Bob Winter
Creative Director: Sonya Grewal
Associate Creative Director/Copywriter: Evan Thompson
Associate Creative Director/Art Director: Richard Fischer
Director of Digital: Matt Witt
Head of Integrated Production: Brian Smego
Agency Producer: Peter Hullinger
Production Company: Humble TV
Director/Director of Photography: Jerry Dugan
Aerial Cinematographer: Joe Jennings
Executive Producers: Eric Berkowitz and Persis Koch
Sr. Producer/Post Producer: Andrea Papazoglou