Expedia is old enough to remember when tech companies like Pets.com and Electronic Data Systems bought Super Bowl ad time.
At more than 25 years old, however, it also knows that it has to adapt if it wants to remain more relevant than those bygone brands. The pandemic has only increased that urgency, with hotel chains and vacation rental platforms scanning data to find ideal travelers, and both network airlines and low-cost carriers figuring out pandemic-era passenger patterns.
Earlier this month, Expedia Group announced that it will run two national Super Bowl ads: a 60-second spot for its home-rental platform Vrbo produced with new agency partner Wieden+Kennedy, and a 30-second hit for Expedia from existing agency partner Anomaly.
“Travel has changed a lot during the pandemic; customers are looking for different things,” said Hector Muelas, svp of global creative for Expedia Group. “And that’s had an impact internally on how we’re organized and the type of work that we want to do, which in turn has had an effect on the types of partners that we want to work with.”
Muelas himself was a big part of that reorganization, joining Expedia Group in July 2021 after his second two-year stint as Apple’s global creative director. In September 2021, he was joined by Apple colleague Michele Rousseau, who’d spent 12 years working on the tech giant’s brand.
Expedia Brands president Jon Gieselman, who also came over from Apple last year, gave Muelas and Rousseau permission to rebuild Expedia Group’s marketing and branding from scratch. The Big Game will show the first byproducts of that edict.