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Kayak strengthens branding abroad with first global ad campaign


May 07, 2013 1:39 pm

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Kayak wants to present a single brand in every market, but an upbeat musical ad that works in France might not resonate with customers in the U.S., and Kayak could lose brand awareness if customers can’t relate.

— Samantha Shankman

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For the first time, Kayak is airing the same ad in four destinations and four languages.

Kayak launched a global ad campaign yesterday that builds brand awareness in Spain, France, Italy, and of course, the U.S.

The campaign launched with a different ad in the U.S. than in France, Italy, and Spain, but both videos will soon run in all four markets. Vice President of Brand Marketing, Stephanie Retcho, was promoted to Senior Vice President of Marketing for KAYAK Europe, a position based in Zurich.

“Global brand management has long been an objective,” says Kayak CMO Robert Birge. “If we could have executed this campaign a year ago, we would have.”

An executive reorganization and consolidation of Kayak’s offline media buying and planning provided the resources needed to launch the campaign, explains Birge.

Kayak ran an ad campaign in the U.S. in 2012 complemented by separate campaigns in France, Italy, and Spain. Customers will now view the same content in every country.

Awaiting merger

The marketing roll-out comes just weeks before Kayak’s pending merger with Priceline is expected to be decided, but Birge says waiting until after a merger would not have impacted the campaign’s reach.

This is the ad that launched in the U.S. that will soon appear in foreign markets:

This ad launched in France, Spain, and Italy that will soon appear in the U.S.:

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