In Vrbo’s new ad, released in late July, we witness the power of perspective, especially because the perspective is ours. For the first half of the 30-second ad, you are the main character, and so am I. The style of filming makes it feel as if it is shown through our eyes.
Starting in the viewer’s POV
Cue the chipper notes of a piano. Brighten the screen. And so we begin.
We sweep through tall stalks of grass before curving into a driveway, as if we are behind the wheel of a car reaching a dreamy rental property. We come upon a villa, a ranch-style home, a piece of modern architecture, and more homes to tempt us.
Every property is first shown from the outside, many from paths denoting an entrance. There are no people in the early shots because, again, it’s about us. We, the viewers, are the people being welcomed to these homes. It is our POV.
Beginning in this fashion allows us to see potential in the properties. We can easily imagine ourselves picking out one of them for a special trip with our go-to travel companions. Would we prefer a house with a pool or one up in the trees? Do we want a big house or a humbly sized cabin?
It’s a smart way to give a taste of what browsing the Vrbo app or website would be like. It gets our wheels turning so that long after the ad is over, we’re itching to plan a trip, visions of rentals dancing in our heads.
The script itself is all written in second person, further drawing us in and casting us as the center of the ad.
“The thing that’s different about a Vrbo vacation home: You always have the whole place to yourself. No stranger at the dinner table making things awkward or in another room taking up space. It’s just you and your people. Because why would you ever share your vacation home with someone you wouldn’t share your vacation with?”
The whole script is essentially one massive hook. Given we’re written into that hook, it’s practically a guarantee that we will be engaged. Plus, it’s true. Who wouldn’t want privacy? Who doesn’t prefer sharing spaces with those they know?
The second half of the ad gives us glimpses of various families enjoying different Vrbo properties, but because we are still the ones being addressed, we don’t lose our footing as the main characters. Instead, the strangers shown act as mere stand-ins for us.
Vrbo’s ad does not tell a full story, rather it shows us how ours can begin.
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