95ab616d7ed3755e887c0c8abd77dfdd0fef68b0 Jim Murez Venice, CA Expedia returns to Super Bowl advertising in sign of optimism for COVID-weary travelers | News Everywhere

Expedia returns to Super Bowl advertising in sign of optimism for COVID-weary travelers

Expedia Group is coming back to the Super Bowl, offering hope to those who yearn to be back on the beach.

The Seattle-based online travel giant confirmed Friday morning that it plans to advertise for its Expedia.com and Vrbo brands during the broadcast for Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, Feb. 13.

The ads have yet to be unveiled, but the Expedia campaign is expected to build on the theme introduced in the company’s Black Friday ad (above), which asked, “Do you want a TV, or do you want the place on the TV?”

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Expedia’s plans on Friday morning.

“We’ve been sitting at home ordering stuff from Amazon, and probably buying more crap than we really need. But it’s because we haven’t been able to invest in experiences,” Jon Gieselman, president of Expedia Brands, told the newspaper. He said the ad asks the question, “Do you want to invest in more stuff, or experiences?”

It will be the first time in years that Expedia has advertised during the big game. Last year’s Super Bowl took place in the thick of the pandemic.

Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern. (Expedia Photo)

Expedia Group reported a 117% year-over-year increase in gross bookings, to $18.7 billion, for the third quarter, ended Sept. 30. However, that was before the COVID-19 Omicron variant spread to the U.S. and much of the world. CEO Peter Kern said at the time that the COVID recovery remained “somewhat bumpy” and unpredictable.

Headquartered on the Seattle waterfront, Expedia Group includes travel brands such as vrbo, Orbitz, Hotwire, Trivago, Hotels.com, and Egencia in addition to the flagship Expedia.com.

The company recently rolled out a unified loyalty program allowing travelers to accumulate rewards across its various brands, one of the results of a longstanding initiative to connect its different units with a common technology backend.