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TripAdvisor Selects New Advertising Agency in Bid to Retool Campaign

Skift Take

TV advertising competition among the big online travel brands has been cutthroat of late so TripAdvisor has a lot riding on its new creative agency and the campaign itself.

— Dennis Schaal

TripAdvisor hopes to be back on the air with a new television advertising campaign before the peak summer-booking season, and has selected a new advertising agency, Johannes Leonardo, to develop the campaign.

TripAdvisor says Johannes Leonardo, which has created campaigns for Google, Diet Coke, and Chanel, among others, will be its lead global creative agency. The previous campaign, which officially debuted in late September, was orchestrated by Ari Merkin, but was withdrawn by January.

“We believe their creative platform will connect with travelers and help them understand what is so unique about TripAdvisor,” TripAdvisor spokesperson Kevin Carter says of Johannes Leonardo. “And we look forward to their continued partnership as we develop and launch this campaign around the world.”

Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet and Telecom Conference in March, TripAdvisor CFO Julie Bradley characterised 2013 as “the year of test and learn” as TripAdvisor rolled out its first global TV advertising campaign.

“One of the big things that came out was that our creative needed to be retooled,” Bradley said. “So that is a big focus of what we’re working on right now. And we do have plans to be back on the the air in advance of … peak booking season, which tends to be the summer months,” Bradley said.

Bradley said the campaign needs to balance messaging about TripAdvisor’s “unique brand, a big brand” with “action immediately after seeing the TV spot. So, it’s a delicate balance and that’s what we are working on with our creative.”

In February, TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer said the company was pleased with its first efforts, but is “looking for a harder-hitting campaign.”

Carter of TripAdvisor said the campaign’s development is under way, and will be launched “later this year.”

In 2013, TripAdvisor had planned to spend $40 million to $50 million on its maiden ad campaign.

“We are also speaking with media agencies in the markets where we’re intending to run advertising, but don’t have any updates at this moment,” Carter said.

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