Travel Songs: How Velvet Underground, Tammy Wynette and Stereolab Power Expedia Group

Selecting the perfect tune

At Expedia Group, we've made a conscious effort to put music up front in our campaigns across our various brands (Expedia,, Vrbo). This grew out of a conviction that music has a special capacity to elevate visual storytelling and connect to culture—that it should be not only a feature, but an integral element of our craft. 

The search for the perfect soundtrack can take different forms, but two of the most widely used approaches are selecting a known track or commissioning a fresh tune. With singer-songwriter Toro y Moi, we got to do both. To launch's "Find Your Perfect Somewhere" platform in 2022. we deployed his song "Postman." It worked so well that we ended up tapping him to compose original scores for two more spots. 

Another favorite artist we've had the chance to work with is John Carroll Kirby, who scored the music for's "Perfect 10," a series where tastemakers discuss hotel-themed topics. 

When commissioning originals from artists like Kirby and Toro, the biggest thrill is seeing what they come up with—how they interpret the spot. When syncing an existing track, it's all about the hunt. There's a song out somewhere—maybe iconic, maybe under the radar—that fits perfectly with what we're building. Here are four examples of known tracks that capture our musical ethos.

Expedia — Northern Lights: Julie, Grace & Maya | 'I'll Be Your Mirror' by The Velvet Underground & Nico

This Super Bowl pregame spot is about family and dreams. A daughter surprised mom with the trip she's always wanted, to see the Northern Lights. 

We needed to strike the right tone with a song that was beautiful, nostalgic but somehow unexpected. "I’ll Be Your Mirror," with its aching honesty, struck the perfect balance. The lyric "I'll be your mirror, reflect what you are, in case you don't know," captures the emotion of the mother-daughter dynamic and the sentiment of seeing a lifelong dream fulfilled. — Pony Friendly | 'Pony' by Ginuwine

This spot from's "Hotel Like a Pro" campaign looks at the value of pet-friendly hotels for animal lovers, using humor and star power to increase awareness of the brand and its NBA partnership. It follows Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokić and rookie Peyton Watson as they arrive at their hotel with Jokić's beloved pony in tow.

Jokić's love of horses and horse racing is widely known among NBA fans, and we wanted to approach the soundtrack with a sense of levity. '90s R&B staple "Pony" by Ginuwine hit the mark. A sparse but recognizable instrumental piano cover of the track plays in the background. It serves as a fun Easter egg for the audience and adding a hilarious twist to a song that has a huge cultural impact.

Expedia — Two-Step | 'Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad' by Tammy Wynette

"Two-Step" tells the story of three friends in Japan planning their dream vacation to a traditional American honky tonk. We follow them as the anticipation builds. They plan their big trip, and finally kick up their boots on the dance floor. 

This big adventure calls for a big song and nothing but Tammy Wynette would do. With cheeky lyrics, "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad" is an anthem of shedding inhibitions. As it happens, the song was a crossover hit in Japan in the '70s when it was covered by a local girl group. This authentic tie-in confirmed we had found the track to take our story to the next level while maintaining cultural relevance. — The Artist | 'Lo Boob Oscillator' by Stereolab

This film was led by a crucial insight—the choice of hotel can make or break your trip. Inspired by his daughter's passion for art, a father books a trip to Spain for them, complete with a stay at Barcelona's Palau Fugit, a boutique hotel filled with aesthetic delights.

The song is fun and avant-garde, just like our teen artist—and our hotel. The lyrics, a quirky and winsome meditation on the effects of the moon, reflect the ethos of the young artist. It's a deep cut that leaves viewers in the know surprised and delighted while grabbing the attention of those unfamiliar with it, sparking conversation and catapulting the brand into the cultural zeitgeist.

Anh Do
Anh Do is Executive Creative Director, Head of Music, at Expedia Group.

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