Trivago Says It Needs to Be the Star of Its Advertising, Not Some Guy

Credit: skift.com

Trivago

Actor Tim Williams is featured in a TV ad that's a company explainer. Trivago



Skift Take: Whether to feature a Trivago Guy or Trivago Woman, or both, on TV commercials is a serious strategy and business question for the hotel-search site. For now, it is opting for two actors in the U.S., as it has done elsewhere, for targeting and other purposes.

— Dennis Schaal

Was the U.S. Trivago Guy, actor Tim Williams, becoming a distraction because he was becoming too much of a star in the hotel-search site’s seemingly never-ending stream of television commercials?


In a switch, the German hotel-search site in recent weeks has been running TV ads in the U.S. separately featuring two actors, American Tim Williams and Australian Gabrielle Miller. Previously, most of Trivago’s English-language ads in the U.S. featured Williams alone.


Until now, Trivago, which last year spent 87 percent of its revenue on advertising, and a lot of that on TV, has been coy about its strategy shift on U.S. television.


But in a call with analysts to discuss earnings earlier this week, CEO Rolf Schromgens said its worldwide advertising strategy is that the star of the advertising should not be the spokesperson but the star should be the platform, namely Trivago.


“So, for example, I know that Tim [Williams, the Trivago Guy] became quite famous in the U.S., but this concept is not focusing on one person,” Schromgens said.


Dual Spokespeople Strategy Has Worked Elsewhere


CFO Axel Hefer said the advertising strategy to feature two different actors in their own commercials simultaneously in a given country has worked well for Trivago in other global markets “and that’s why we believe that it is a good concept and that it will be successful.”


Having male and female spokespeople starring in the TV commercials can also be useful for Trivago when it wants to target various audiences, Schromgens said.


“And we want to be more flexible in the future,” he said. “We want to be more targeted so our idea is to create fully targeted spots. And the more we want to go into targeting, the more it’s important for us that we also have the flexibility in the spokesperson because a different spokesperson also can address different target groups.


“And that’s very important,” Schromgens said. “We want to really micro-target, and be micro-targeting in our advertising.”


A Serious Business Question


The issue of whether the Trivago Guy or Trivago Woman has fallen out of favor or is this month’s teacher’s pet is not a mere gossipy question for fans or detractors of Williams or Miller, but revolves around very serious business issues.


Trivago may want to use them for various targeting activities or may seek to deemphasize one or the other at various times to put a spotlight on the company’s brand.


And TV advertising is a critical growth and profit driver for the company in a very competitive online travel marketplace.


For example, in a two-hour span this morning, we saw U.S. TV commercials on the air for Trivago (2), HomeAway (2), and Travelocity (1). Incidentally, all three brands are in the Expedia Inc. portfolio.


Trivago increased its TV advertising globally in the fourth quarter last year, and this week Schromgens said it positively impacted profitability in the first quarter. Trivago notched a profit of $8.45 million in the first quarter versus a small loss a year earlier.


“From our side, so first of all we can see that our strategy to invest more into the fourth quarter that this was paying out,” Schromgens told analysts. “And that is — also you can see the brand after-effect also on the profitability of the first quarter. So we had higher investments into TV in the fourth quarter, we see some of the results today.”


The issue of whether to have an actor/spokesperson — or two — is a key one for many companies, including TripAdvisor, which is poised to kick off a TV campaign this year after a two-year absence, and plans to spend $70 million to $80 million on it in 2017.


It will also be interesting to see how Trivago responds, spending-wise, to TripAdvisor’s TV blitz since they butt heads in the highly competitive hotel search and booking sector.


Top Stories

Wellness Executives Question Hotel Chains’ Capabilities in the Sector

Everyone in hospitality, it seems, is focusing on more wellness offerings, whether through mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, or enhanced programming — but what do the wellness vets think? Does this trend have staying power or is it just a fad? -Deanna Ting
  • 11 hours ago
  • 12

Travel Habits of Americans: 42 Percent Aren’t Taking a Vacation This Summer

Unless there's a flood of last-minute vacation planners who will book trips in the coming days, weeks or months, many U.S. travelers are saying that they're hunkering down for another summer of little to no time away from the office. -Dan Peltier
  • 12 hours ago
  • 10

Air Canada Reverses Course, Leads the Charge to Bring Loyalty Back In-House

There was a trend over the last few years for airlines to try to spin off their loyalty programs into ... Read More
  • 6 hours ago
  • 9

What Ctrip Looks For When Buying Other Companies

Zhou's comments point to more deals for companies outside China, similar to the one for Skyscanner, and with plenty of money to spend it looks like it could be a very busy few years. -Patrick Whyte
  • 12 hours ago
  • 9

Visit Florida’s Budget Cuts Could Seriously Impact Florida’s Robust Meetings Business

How much of an impact the slashed Visit Florida budget will have on the state's meetings and conventions industry is an open question. The answer depends on whom you ask. -Deanna Ting
  • 11 hours ago
  • 9
farawayyachtingcharters - Easy Branches
botoxfillerveintheraphyinphuket - Easy Branches

Latest in Travel

Cathay Cuts 600 Jobs as It Tries to Get Costs Under Control

It might please investors to cut jobs but Cathy Pacific's problems run much deeper. It needs to work out where it fits in an airline environment that is rapidly changing. -Patrick Whyte
  • 46 minutes ago

Six skincare rules everyone should follow

Before you even consider reaching for your foundation or swiping on some mascara, it’s important to be confident and happy with your canvas – your skin. Our skin care needs and problems are totally unique to us but one thing is for certain: if you’re not looking after your skin it is going to be […] The post Six skincare rules everyone should follow appeared first on VOGUE India.
  • 3 hours ago

Team Vogue’s favourite fragrances might just inspire you to find new loves

Perfumes are the most emotion-inducing beauty products you’ll ever use. Your mum’s signature scent will always smell like home to you; your ex-boyfriend’s, an annoying reminder of a time that was and your own, your identity. Each of us at the Vogue HQ have our own favourites that we’ve come to be known by. Check […] The post Team Vogue’s favourite fragrances might just inspire you to find new loves appeared first on VOGUE India.
  • 3 hours ago

9 ways to power up mind, body and hair

Living a more balanced life is probably on almost everyone’s wish list but often it feels impossible to achieve. Scroll ahead through slideshow as we give you an ultimate guide to power up mind, body and hair. The post 9 ways to power up mind, body and hair appeared first on VOGUE India.
  • 3 hours ago

Launching Skift Business of Loyalty Newsletter: Why Loyalty Is Still Relevant to the Travel Industry

One would think that loyalty would be constant, but it is not. Our New Loyalty newsletter is here to help you make sense of the changing environment. -Grant Martin
  • 3 hours ago

American Express Expands Its Lounge Access Program With Its Platinum Card

Travelers who own the American Express card now have a new suite of lounges to look forward to visiting. Whether they make up for the annual fee on the AmEx platinum is another question. -Grant Martin
  • 3 hours ago

#BeautyGoals: Pink lips in every hue are the real MVPs this summer

Over the past week, Bollywood stepped out looking their best, pink pouts in tow. While Sonam Kapoor wore a balmy pink-coral hue, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Karisma Kapoor brought out their brights and Freida Pinto and Sonakshi Sinha took to creamy matte finishes. Kriti Sanon and Shraddha Kapoor’s hair game was on point with Sanon […] The post #BeautyGoals: Pink lips in every hue are the real MVPs this summer appeared first on VOGUE India.
  • 4 hours ago

The fresh way to sport embroidery this summer

Trade your all over embroidered pieces for appliqué—we are talking vibrant pops of detailing on your otherwise plain garment. From Delpozo to Kenzo, designers are loving this feminine trend. You can try the trend in all doses—from Gucci’s appliquéd denim jacket to a pair of embroidered loafers by Christian Louboutin. We are crushing over the […] The post The fresh way to sport embroidery this summer appeared first on VOGUE India.
  • 4 hours ago

The lip balms that need to be in your bag all year round

Lip balms are like house keys, they seem to vanish at the flicker of an eye – almost like they have a life of their own: parties to attend, boys to text, sample sales to scrummage. So it’s wise to keep a few handy. The good news? There’s no need to splash out on expensive […] The post The lip balms that need to be in your bag all year round appeared first on VOGUE India.
  • 4 hours ago

Here’s why you’ll love Viviane Sassen’s new photo book, ‘Roxanne II’

Dutch fashion and fine art photographer Viviane Sassen’s new photo book Roxanne II is like a gallery of earthly delights, full of pictures of Sassen and her muse, Roxanne, visually colliding to make vibrant and ethereal mutual portraits. The photographer’s presence is felt in the shadows and paint imprints on her muse’s skin in one […] The post Here’s why you’ll love Viviane Sassen’s new photo book, ‘Roxanne II’ appeared first on VOGUE India.
  • 4 hours ago

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s stylist talks about that giant Michael Cinco gown

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan went to Cannes, hit the red carpet like a pro, had a mother-daughter style moment and she is back. Each year the actor travels to the French Riviera to represent L’Oréal as a global ambassador and her sartorial choices on the red carpet become talking points for days after. We spoke Rai […] The post Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s stylist talks about that giant Michael Cinco gown appeared first on VOGUE India.
  • 4 hours ago

10 travel accessories you need to buy before your next vacation

If you’re anything like us, you probably love summer trips—whether it’s a month-long vacation to an exotic isle with your partner or just a weekend getaway with the girls, we get seriously stoked every time a holiday is on the cards. While there’s nothing better than a vacation, most of us agree that travelling can […] The post 10 travel accessories you need to buy before your next vacation appeared first on VOGUE India.
  • 4 hours ago