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As TripAdvisor gains traction as a place to book hotels in light of its new strategic partnership with Marriott International and other big chains, TripAdvisor’s TV advertising is increasingly portraying the company as a booking site and not just a place to read hotel reviews.
The latest TV advertising tagline is: “Don’t just visit TripAdvisor, book at TripAdvisor,” with a dog’s bark sounding like the word “book, book, book.”
Today, as the TripAdvisor business makes its big push as a site where consumers can consummate a hotel booking in a manner resembling an online travel agency — from outward appearances, at least — TripAdvisor’s hotel review and shopping attributes are still part of the message.
“The TripAdvisor you’ve always trusted for reviews now checks over 200 sites and lets you look for the best price,” the latest ads state.
But the ads’ new tagline gets to the central proposition, “Don’t just visit TripAdvisor, book at TripAdvisor.”
In 2014, when TripAdvisor kicked off its first national advertising campaign after doing testing a year earlier, the company emphasized its user-written hotel reviews, imploring travelers, “Don’t just visit New York (or Paris or Orlando), visit TripAdvisor New York.”
The idea was for travelers to check out a destination through TripAdvisor reviews before getting an unpleasant surprise when checking into a subpar hotel room at a particular destination.
But the tagline never really made total sense. What does it mean, really, to “visit TripAdvisor New York?” Is that near Times Square? Is it an office or section of the website? What exactly is TripAdvisor New York?
In its defense though, TripAdvisor stated that the ads, which ran in several countries, did well.
By late 2014, as the TripAdvisor business evolved from a pure metasearch site, passing consumer leads to hotel and online travel agency websites, into a full-fledged “book on TripAdvisor” site through its Instant Booking feature, the company’s advertising began emphasizing both shopping for hotels and booking them too.
The tagline had changed “Don’t just visit New York, Visit TripAdvisor New York” to “Plan, compare and book the perfect trip. Visit TripAdvisor today.”
The newest ads complete the circle, prodding travelers to book their hotels on TripAdvisor.
Most consumers don’t understand the differences between an Expedia and a TripAdvisor anyway. TripAdvisor’s latest ad campaign makes the distinction, from a consumer standpoint, moot.