Updated: Mar 14, 2021
Kya aapne kabhi online hotel search kiya hai?
I think this line sums up the entire post.
I am super excited to talk about this ad campaign because it brings with it so many learnings.
The fact that the face of a brand endorser or rather his style can actually define the brand in the consumer’s mind, speaks volumes about the success of these ads.
The entire campaign turned out to be so amazing that it led to a community of people liking or hating ‘The Trivago guy’.
Social media was flooded with memes and it garnered a lot of positive and some amount of negative attention, which irrespective helped the brand!
Let’s look at the ad first
Now when the brand decided to come up with this campaign, did it plan on making it funny?
Of course not!
In fact, Trivago ads all around the world have the same execution just a different model or brand endorser for each region.
When Trivago was trying to cast someone for these ads, they had a hard time getting the perfect match, so comes in Mr. Abhinav Kumar, who was Trivago’s country development head back then.
Yes, you heard that right, this man was actually working for Trivago back then and wasn’t really a model.
This was something new for him, and of course, people hated his un-model like approach but it still made Trivago famous and I guess to some level it still works for your brand.
Indians were already using the online hotel booking avenue, however, Trivago provided a comparison option that aimed to impress the price-sensitive customer.
The objective was to communicate how important it is to compare prices across various websites before booking.
This is where the famous phrase ‘Hotel? Trivago’ came in from, the brand wanted to become synonymous with the hotel booking process.
The concept of the ads was pretty clear, the man talks to the audience about the way a consumer can use Trivago to compare hotel prices and save some money.
So it was a mix of some animations to portray the working of the app/website and the Trivago guy talking about it.
The reason behind the success of this campaign was not actually the ad execution, but the guy himself, and his not so friendly television presence, his weird accent and his overall appearance in the ads.
I believe every advertising campaign has a case study like feel to it where we get to learn a lot.
This one, in particular, is more so to understand how things can work for your brand even if the form of publicity is negative.
These ads and specifically the ‘Trivago guy’ created a sensation on social media with the numerous memes being created.
The brand ended up getting more attention from these memes instead of the ad campaign itself.
Let’s think for a moment if instead of having a common man, Trivago decided to go ahead with a celebrity, would the brand create the same amount of attention? I think not!
Trivago campaign teaches us in the real sense, ‘Negative publicity is still publicity’ as long as it helps your brand.