Vacation rental brand, HomeAway, came to 4media group looking to conduct an integrated PR campaign to launch their Teddy Express initiative which looks to reunite children with their beloved toys should they leave them at one of their locations. A child’s favourite toy is a vital addition to the family holiday, the majority of parent’s under pressure not to forget to pack it. In fact this beloved item is so precious, losing it can cause untold stress not only to the child, but to the parents and may end up gutting the holiday short. The campaign was commissioned to publicize HomeAway’s initiative and give great brand awareness during the lead up to the summer holidays.


As a creative base for the campaign, which featured Broadcast PR and News Generation, we conducted research of 2,002 UK parents with children under 10 to find out the consequences of losing their child’s favourite toy. The results revealed:

  • 56% of parents admit that packing their child’s favourite toy when they go on holiday is very important
  • 62% of parents admit that their child has misplaced and or left their favourite soft toy behind when they’ve been away from home.
  • 94% said their children got upset as a result, including 23% who got so upset that they either had problems sleeping without it or took a long time to get over it
  • 57% of parents admit that they have had to lie/make up a story about where said favourite toy has gone
  • 43% say that they have considered ending a family holiday or trip early after your child has lost their toy.
  • 63% say that the prospect ofa child losing a favourite cuddly toy has or would put a dampener on your holiday. 
  • 68% of parents would prefer to suffer in other ways on their holiday rather than deal with the agony of their child losing their favourite toy while on holiday:
  • Catch a cold (42%)
  • Get sunburnt (24%)
  • Lose my phone(23%) 
  • Having my flights delayed/cancelled when going on holiday (18%)

By engaging in an integrated Broadcast PR and News generation campaign we could reach national and regional audiences, giving us the greatest amplification and reach the biggest audience. The research gave us the news hook which enabled us to write the most engaging narrative, in this case tugging on the heart strings of parents up and down the UK.

To host that campaign and talk all things childhood and why our cuddly friends are such an important item to pack in the suitcase we recruited celeb Mum, Denise van Outen. Denise was able to talk about her own experiences with lost toys and the importance of a cuddly friend when away from home. Denise was joined in the studio by HomeAway’s Regional Director UK & Ireland Karen Mullins who was able to speak in more detail about the ‘Teddy Express’ campaign and how HomeAway are looking to repair the heartbreak of losing a cuddy toy on holiday.

Coverage highlights include:

  • BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show
  • Sky News Sunrise
  • Mirror
  • Daily Star
  • BBC Radio West Midlands
  • BBC Radio Leeds
  • BBC Radio Solent
  • BBC Radio Jersey
  • BBC Radio Devon
  • BBC Radio Guernsey
  • And more!
Denise Van Outen Radio 2 Studio HomeAway Integrated PR Campaign
Denise Van Outen Radio 2 Studio HomeAway Integrated PR Campaign
Denise Van Outen Sky News Sunrise HomeAway Integrated PR Campaign
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