Brands are always evolving, they have to be to be able to embody the spirit of the time

And this means that, unfortunately, we have to say good-bye to our beloved Beard Man in the Trivago TV Advertizing!!

Let’s shed a few tears and move on, aware of the fact that the handsome Christian Göran will soon be back on our digital screen, “Maybe this time WITHOUT the towel…” said a friend of mine to whom I asked a professional advice as a film critic…

And talking about cinema, here we are with the new Trivago advertising campaign on air on national television and online from May 11th: We know everything about hotels, that immediately captured my attention for the witty screenplay and captivating story-telling, a really uncommon thing in Italian advertising landscape, even if, I have to say, the spot I saw first was the most interesting and well done of the three: the story is set in Italy, in the Hotel “La Perla” (imaginary name), and in 30 second manages to showcase gangsters, an arrest in the middle of the night, hidden treasures, even a flashback… in 30 seconds! Inspired by a classic Italian movie style of films like “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” it leaves you with the desire to watch the movie… that doesn’t exist!

The second episode has the same unique style, but tells a love story between a hotel waiter and a princess of a faraway land called Bolbol (don’t start with Google Maps… it doesn’t exist) and I don’t believe any relation to“Grand Budapest Hotel” by Wes Anderson would be completely coincidental:

The third spot, set in Bangkok, is the most mediocre. The plot, the unfolding of the story and most of all the ending are quite disappointing:

Is the opera singer producing ultrasounds. and THAT’S the reason none can hear her?

In the end I can say that the three spots were an excellent test for all the professional figures involved, from the director, to the director of photography, the costume designer, and it will definitely have a positive impact of their careers even if I don’t think this was the original goal of the brand.

The creative idea must come last
It looks like this campaign has started from the bottom: the correct route to follow would be having a marketing objective, a target and a tone of voice designed on that target, and only then a creative idea can follow.
Here it looks like they started from the creative idea of doing engaging, brilliant and action short films… but where is the brand in all this? To who are they talking to and what is the marketing objective?

New Objectives
This is what I get: TRIVAGO has individuated that of being seen ‘just’ as “The Biggest Search and Compare Engine for Hotels and Hospitality in the World”, and with this campaign, they intend to erase the cold feel of a Search Engine to acquire a more human character, very fashionable nowadays among technology companies.


While the website still admits its main purpose…

With We know everything about hotels the company seem to want to position itself like a brand that does more than that, that care about the products they are ‘selling’: the hotels, and so that they know EVERYTHING about this product… but how can it be?
I think this is a very unreasonable ambition: Trivago is not a hospitality brand, and that is the only justification that would imply this kind of ambition; I would like to know exactly how the company expects to be able to monitor tens of thousands of structures all over the world?

Never make the wrong promise
This is the Golden Rule of advertising: if you make the wrong promise, everything falls apart.
Personally I think that the former promise by Trivago, to be the ‘Best Hotels Search Engine in the World’ wasn’t bad at all; a little cold maybe, with so many technology companies turning to the world of emotions and feeling to attract new customers, still I think that a company should always think beyond trends and alway try to be itself.