hotels.com logo png

From No Point of Difference to Go-To Hotels Booking Destination

Hotels.com – A Case Study

hotels.com captain obvious skippable ad and runs for president

Being top of mind is king in the online travel agent category. Brands take two approaches to make sure this happens. One is generic, millennial inspired travel experiences. The other is rational product demonstration. As a challenger brand, we knew we had to cut through the clutter to drive brand recall.

We created a character with bold irreverent personality that positioned Hotels.com as the jester of the category. Brimming with personality, a lovable eccentric – Captain Obvious. Leaning into our reassuringly direct brand name, the ‘Obvious Choice’ became the platform. Captain Obvious points out the self-evident, helping customers find the perfect place to stay. He also helped Hotels.com be the most recalled adverts in the UK. And in the US the Captain is one of the most iconic characters of all time.

This led to award winning work including an irreverent take on Youtube’s skippable ads. And a first of its kind partnership with All4 with an ad blocker campaign.

hotels.com ad blocker for Channel 4 by CPB London

The Captain entered popular culture in a way that other travel brands could not. He literally ran for President in the US, offering pandemic travel safety advice.

Hotels.com has become the best practice example of brand building in Expedica Group. And resulted in CPB picking up the account for sister brand VRBO.  Building their brand and giving them a client purpose vs competitor AirBnb.

RESULTS

+6% increase in global new customers, 5.5% increase in unaided brand awareness

Hotels.com 8th most recalled advertiser in the UK

Over 2.8 billion impressions generated by the campaign

 

Our ‘skipping’ ad won a MediaWeek award, receiving 400,000 impressions and 438,000 ‘ad skips’. With a 50% engagement rate, it was the most interacted with piece of content ever on All4.

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