Bad Ads: The Trivago Guy

(CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

In this job I watch a lot of TV, I see a lot of ads, and many of them annoy me. Here’s one that annoys, irritates and baffles me.


It’s for one of the million travel sites, called Trivago. It searches hotel rooms.

Here’s the ad they’ve chosen to roll the site out with.

I get going for an unusual spokesmodel to help your product break through. Ad makers tend to go for animals, cute kids or beautiful women, but an unusual one like The Most Interesting Man In The World is very effective. Those ads are great. The actor who plays him, Jonathan Goldsmith, plays that role perfectly. You see those ads and you want to be that guy. Even the billboards are great. On the other hand, just learning the actor’s name dents the campaign’s mystique. The Most Interesting Man In The World is some guy named Jonathan? Eh.

Opinion on this Trivago guy is all over the place, from “sexy sexy sexy” to “unbelievably creepy” on the ad’s YouTube page. The guy has a good voice. But.

I just keep wondering, why’d they dress him up to look like he lost a bar fight last night and woke up this morning in a pool of his own spit, with his head under the barstool that someone used to knock him out? That’s what I don’t get. Maybe they’re going for the fun. “We Are Young” vibe, but, look, he’s not all that young.


And another thing. Trivago is a hotel room search site. What do you want in a hotel room? People want clean, comfortable rooms at a good price. So shouldn’t the guy who explains the hotel room search site look like he’s had a bath in the past month or so? Or that, at least, he’s traveled someplace interesting? He looks like he just stepped out of the room of conformists in 1984.

See a TV ad that annoys you? Send it to the Tatler and we’ll either bash it or mock you if it turns out that we like it.


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