Expedia Escapes

Everyone’s got one. I’ve got about a dozen. I know you’ve got one.

I’m talking about that one commercial that you just can’t stand for one reason or another. The one that makes you run out of the room any time it comes on. The one that makes you want to throw your television out the window. Oh, that’s only me? Okay, well still, you know the type of commercial I’m talking about. Keep your most hated commercial in mind while reading.

Now there are many reasons commercials become so hated, whether it is simply a poorly designed commercial or it’s just over-played. The reasons aren’t so important. What’s important is whether or not the company listens to viewers and how it responds to criticism about the commercial.

One example that has been featured on MarketingMag.ca recently is the Expedia “Escape Winter” commercial. Here’s the commercial that started this ordeal:

Now I don’t think this ad is inherently bad, but I can certainly understand why people would be frustrated after seeing it over and over again.

Some viewers were so annoyed by the shrill violin noise in the commercial that they wrote to Expedia on social media to express their displeasure. One viewer said, “I need a vacation from your commercial.” This article by Michelle DiPardo delves into the situation a little bit deeper.

Instead of continuing to run the ad, Grip Limited, Expedia’s creative agency, decided to have a little bit of fun with it. They produced three more commercials, (#2 & #3), which featured the father from the original ad throwing the violin outside and eventually smashing it.

To top it off Expedia dedicated the violin smashing commercial to everyone who complained about the commercial by showing their screen names and comments on screen.


Expedia could show some companies a thing or two about listening to its audience.

This type of reaction from companies and advertising agencies is rare. Sure, they may pull the ad off the air or throw in some minor tweaks, but to go as far as to produce three new commercials poking fun at themselves and even involve the viewers is unheard of.

I think by doing this Expedia and Grip Limited avoided a PR nightmare and made the best of what could have been a messy situation. If only all companies were this responsive to complaints.

Now think again about the commercial you hate the most. Would hate this commercial slightly less, or perhaps even laugh at it now if the company had handled the situation the way Expedia did? I know it would help me.


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