Thibault is the founder of Rental Scale-Up. He owns vacation rentals in St. Barths and Bali. He also leads innovative projects for companies within the vacation rental industry. Feel free to reach out to Thibaut Masson on Linkedin.

Vrbo commercials: After a Long Wait series, with John Legend

john legend chrissy teigen vrbo



For local inhabitants and businesses, the disaster is also economic. Florida is a big travel market. With great beaches and world-famous attractions such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, the state attracts many families who book a vacation rental for their stay. Cities like Orlando and Kissimmee usually rank high in market size for vacation rental revenues.

Vrbo’s advertising activity has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic: In 2020, the company unveiled a series of family-friendly commercials. Then, Vrbo released a series of anti-Airbnb commercials where it claimed to make more money for hosts by attracting larger families staying in bigger vacation rentals. Now, Vrbo’s new campaign, called “After a long wait“, features real-life families attending surprise reunions. It also stars John Legend and Chrissy Teigen‘s multi-generational family, as the glitzy embodiment of Vrbo’s core consumer target.

Vrbo is sticking to its positioning as the platform where large families can book a vacation rental to get together. With its After a long wait campaign, it wants to show that it can attract all kinds of families, with diverse backgrounds (e.g. African-American, Latinos, gays).

Vrbo commercials = large families; Airbnb commercials = small families

The campaign shows real-life Vrbo guests who are invited by the company to stay at a vacation rental, thinking that they would be featured in an ad. Once on location, they find out that loved ones, that have seen since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, are there for a surprise family reunion.

This is a smart campaign that points out a popular use case for vacation rentals, as a place to celebrate special occasions and life events. Vrbo’s commercials also clearly reference COVID-19, with people mentioning how they’ve been missing loved ones.

These new Vrbo commercials, featuring large groups of people, are a far cry from Airbnb’s commercials which show only small families.

The contrast also resides in the music: While Airbnb has done a great job picking music full of nostalgia, Vrbo’s commercials have a more positive, forward-looking vibe: They feature a cover of Johnny Nash’s “I can see clearly now”, sung by John Legend.

Vrbo commercials: After a long wait (song: I Can See Clearly Now by John Legend)

Susan and Peter meeting their 7-month-old grandchild for the first time in a Vrbo

‘I haven’t seen my parents in 17 months” says Molly.


Niece and Aunt Together Again


Gay couple Hugo and Tomas getting a post-pandemic wedding redo with their families as surprise guests


Grand-parents and children reunited


Behind the scenes video:

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen as Vrbo’s Family in Residence

john legend vrbo

The tie-in with John Legend does not stop here. Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, Luna, Miles, and Chrissy’s mom Vilailuck “Pepper” Teigen are Vrbo’s first family in residence. The group embodies the multi-generational family that Vrbo sees as its core target.

The Teigen-Legend family is quite influential on social media, which also explains why they have been picked.


John Legend’s full over of I can see clearly now:


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