Digital Booking Sites

Unprecedented TV Advertising Blitz by Expedia, Priceline and Travelocity


Aug 31, 2013 9:08 am

Skift Take

Travel startups often talk about how difficult it is to get noticed, but now even mammoth online travel agencies are finding it very difficult to break out of the pack in their TV advertising. And, it is expensive.

— Dennis Schaal

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Expedia's TV advertising focuses on giving away trips and downloading its mobile app. Expedia

There has seldom been a time — if ever — that Expedia, Priceline and Travelocity have been crowding U.S. TV advertising at the same time the way these big online travel agencies have been doing in recent weeks. (See their TV advertisements embedded below)

And, the advertising blitz doesn’t merely involve Expedia.com, Priceline.com and Travelocity — for Expedia Inc. and the Priceline Group it involves their other brands, as well.

So Expedia Inc. is simultaneously running TV advertising for Expedia.com, Hotwire.com and Hotels.com, while the Priceline Group is airing advertising for Priceline.com’s Express Deals and for Booking.com, which is pushing into the U.S.

For Travelocity, despite the news that it will be outsourcing all its technology and supplier relationships to Expedia in 2014, it continues to do TV advertising seemingly without a care in the world. Travelocity, which will severely pare its operations, will focus on marketing and advertising next year.

Take a look at the TV ads:

Expedia.com is pushing its #TripADay Giveaway and dowloads of the Expedia app.

Hotels.com’s ad is about Roughing It, getting discounts on hotels and car rentals.

Hotwire, which has been losing ground to Priceline’s similarly oriented Express Deals, touts its pledge that travelers can use Hotwire to book 4-star hotels at half price.

Priceline’s Express Deals advertisements feature the resurrected Negotiator, William Shatner, and actress Kelly Cuoco.

Getting a little racy with its “until right-booking now” phraseology, Booking.com’s advertisements mark the Priceline unit’s entry into the U.S. market.

Travelocity encourages travelers to “dive into hotels” for discounts of up to 50% through Labor Day.

Collectively, these online travel agencies are putting beaucoup dollars into offline advertising.

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