I love to travel; whether it’s for work or recreation. In fact, I have travelled more in these past few years than I have the rest of my life. So, when I saw that Trivago had finally stepped up its marketing strategy with TV advertisements, I was delighted; I had used the website for years and could not believe that more people had not heard about it. But, what is saddening, is that this feeling of “Way to Go! Put your stuff out there!” quickly turned to “Oh god not this again”.
If you watch television at all, even if it is only for the shortest amount of time, I can guarantee that you have seen this ad. You know the one. The “I want to go to Berlin” ad. Now, when this advertisement first aired on television, I was impressed by its use of class, elegance, and romance to position what is essential and hotel comparison website. But, that was only the first ten times that I saw it. I kid you not, in one ad break it aired, in its entirety, three times. I ended up turning off the television even though I was halfway through the Friday night movie; did Jack ever get on that floating door?
Now, what I am about to type, maybe in part to my anger and frustration at the number of times I have seen this ad, but this whole campaign has the air of Soviet Russian propaganda techniques: repetition, repetition, repetition. Now, when you hear the word Propaganda, what do you think? Chances are you immediately think of jingoism from the 1940s. But is this the case? Can current advertising campaigns use techniques associated with these propagandist strategies and still be called advertising?
The good news is that, as I become older, I am more inclined to do something about it. After funnelling my way around the ACMA, Free TV Australia, and the Advertising Standards Board websites, I finally gave up and went straight to the source to complain. But what surprised me was that Trivago were extremely obliging and even referred my complaint to their Marketing Division. Now, to me anyway, it seems that this ad is still on a hell of a lot, but less than before.
While this is a step in the right direction for Trivago making amends for what they have done to their consumers, I feel that they need to go above and beyond with their next marketing campaign by completely detaching themselves from this one. MacDonalds did it with their “McCafe Complainers” campaign, so why can’t Trivago? I know that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I honestly feel that the longer that this ad airs the more people like me they will have to deal with. Some of whom are less forgiving.