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With TV advertising for travel sites so competitive these days, getting noticed is a big hurdle. Few people are talking about TripAdvisor’s ads, but the media and public are noticing the Trivago Guy, and will likely remember the name of the site. Whether they’ll use it is another question.
Does hotel search site Trivago think the advertising controversy about the Trivago Guy, actor Tim Williams, detracts from its ambitions to become better known in the U.S?
Trivago announced that it is launching a Trivago Guy makeover contest, inviting users to selfies in appropriate attire with the goal of re-styling “our spokesman for his next commercial,” and to post the photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The winner gets a 5-day trip to Berlin, Germany, and an invitation to the next commercial.
The reference to Williams’ “next commercial” is interesting.
Asked whether the Trivago Guy has been signed for new commercials, Jon Eichelberger, who oversees Trivago’s North America operations, states: “We’re taking things one day at a time, and today, we’re focusing on the “Makeover #trivagoGuy.” contest.”
The Trivago Guy has lots of fans, but also legions of detractors who despise his open-collar shirt, scraggly look, and belt-less ensemble.
One person who is unabashedly is a fan is Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Trivago’s parent company, Expedia Inc. On August 5 Khosrowshahi tweeted:
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) August 6, 2014