Ad of the Day: Expedia

Travel site endorses gay marriage in long-form spot about a father's journey to understand his daughter

Whatever the risks and rewards may be, more and more brands are openly coming out in favor of same-sex marriage—with the significant attendant media coverage surely being part of the point. Oreo's gay-pride ad in June, which kicked off the Daily Twist campaign, is the most potent example recently. Now, Expedia, a longtime supporter of the gay community, has released a long-form spot from 180LA that jubilantly endorses gay marriage through a time-tested plot—that of a once-reluctant father coming to terms with his gay child.

The ad tells the story of Artie Goldstein, a retired business owner and father to Jill Sloane Goldstein. Artie explains that he always dreamed of Jill finding a husband—a dream that was shattered when Jill's girlfriend, Nikki Weiss, asked him for his daughter's hand in marriage. (Nikki and Jill had first met as young girls at overnight camp, and reconnected 25 years later.) In plaintive voiceover, Artie speaks of his own personal journey toward understanding and accepting Jill for who she is. Artie freely admits the entire relationship hung in the balance, that he was choosing whether he would have any connection with his daughter. Eventually, Artie comes around—and the spot shows him flying west from Georgia to California to attend Jill and Nikki's wedding.

The spot, which is quite emotional if at times seemingly a little staged, fits nicely into 180LA's new campaign for Expedia, which moves away from the nuts and bolts of travel booking (the previous tagline was "Where you book matters") and into more aspirational territory. The new work is all about life journeys, not just physical journeys, and how travel opens up one's perspective and can be a transformative experience.

"What helps to set Expedia apart is that they understand that travel is personal—that no two trips, or travelers, are the same. And that travel is powerful—that it has the ability to move us, shape us and to transform us," said Gavin Milner, creative director at 180LA. "We sought to document real travelers, on real trips and watch as that transformation happened in front of the camera. In Artie's case, we were witness to how a trip to his daughter's wedding changed a lifetime's worth of ideas about love, marriage and what he actually wanted for his baby girl."

This new spot, which not exactly revolutionary, is nonetheless quite the trip indeed.

Client: Expedia
Campaign: "Find Yours"
Spot: "Find Your Understanding"

Agency: 180 Los Angeles
Executive Creative Director: William Gelner
Creative Directors: Gavin Milner, Grant Holland
Copywriter: Mike Burdick
Art Director: Mike Bokman
Executive Producer, Managing Partner: Peter Cline
Senior Producer: Lorraine Kraus
Director of Client Services: Chad Bettor
Account Manager: Brooke Stites
Account Coordinator: Sarah Lynch
Business Affairs: Nestor Gandia

Research: Aine Carey

Production Company: Uber Content
Director: Eliot Rausch
Second Unit Director, Director of Photography: Ed David
Executive Producer: Preston Lee
Executive Producer: Phyllis Koenig
Line Producer: Steve Jordan
Shoot Locations: Georgia, Los Angeles
Shoot Dates: July 8-9, 2012

Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor: Gabriel Britz
Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver
Post Producer: Cassie Hulen
Assistant Editor: Ko Massiah

Completion, Special Effects
Colorist: Nick Alexander
Transfer Facility: Speedmedia
Online, Visual Effects: Speedmedia
Visual Effects Supervisor: Nick Alexander
Flame Artist Assistant: Aly Parmelee
Producer: Adam Buchanen

Voiceover Casting, Recording, Mix
Final Mix: Eleven Sound
Mixer: Jeff Payne

Music, Sound Design
Music Company: Adam Taylo0r, 386 Music

Client Credits
Vice President, General Manager: Joe Megibow
Senior Director, Brand Marketing: Vic Walia