Skift Take

While is sticking with the tried-and-true practice of featuring celebrities in its latest marketing effort, it's betting it doesn't need traditional TV ads to reach travelers. That new approach may not hurt the company, with a growing numbers of consumers cutting the cable cord. is turning to celebrities to provide sales pitches in a campaign appearing on its own digital channels instead of TV.

The company launched Hotels Perfect 10 earlier this year, its first-ever episodic web series. It includes notable personalities sharing hotel tips and etiquette, favorite hotel experiences and recommendations. The campaign appears on’s app and website, where featured hotels can be directly booked.

The first three episodes feature podcaster and actress Busy Philipps, actor and skateboarder Evan Mock, and Top Chef alum and author Kwame Onwuachi. Hector Muelas, senior vice president of global marketing and creative at’s parent company Expedia Group, said the series wants to make travelers feel like they’re at the same table with interesting people.

Muelas said the new media format is a key part of its strategy to stand out in the highly competitive online booking landscape, with and Vrbo airing commercials during the most recent Super Bowl. He added that the web series does a better job of building a more emotional connection with consumers than TV ads that he believes mostly remind the general public a company exists.

Hotels Perfect 10 is an extension of the brand’s Find Your Perfect Somewhere campaign released in spring 2022, which represented a shift from marketing efforts that featured its mascot Captain Obvious for nearly a decade.

“What excited us when we launched the Find Your Perfect Somewhere creative last spring was how this platform and direction opened new opportunities for the brand to connect emotionally with travelers,” Muelas said.

“Travel has never been more connected to culture. There’s a natural synergy in tapping today’s characters and personalities to spotlight places that reflect our passions and interests.” joins a list of travel brands looking to tap into the power of celebrities and pop culture to drive bookings. Expedia Group’s 2023 Travel Trends Report revealed that 39 percent of travelers have booked a trip after seeing a destination featured in a show or movie they’ve streamed at home. Muelas said the Hotels Perfect 10 series aims to capture the magic of shows that travelers have turned to inspiration for, like Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy.

Chef and author Kwame Onwuachi appearing in’s Hotels Perfect 10 campaign.


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Tags: advertisements, advertising, celebrities, expedia group,, marketing, online booking

Photo credit: An image of Top Chef alum Kwame Onwuachi from's Hotels Perfect 10 campaign.

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