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September 4, 2017

What employer branding can learn from the Trivago advert

I can safely say, if you live in London and don’t work from home, you’ve seen her.

The Lady in Blue. Otherwise known as the Trivago advert.

It’s an obvious case of a Marketing Director choosing media spend over creative time. They probably said something like “Money spent ‘getting the message out there’ is better than money wasted on creating the message in the first place. What’s the point of pretty pictures if no one sees them?”

Sound like a hardnosed business decision. It’s backfired however. Campaign Magazine named it the worst of a shitty era of tube ads.

But who cares? Campaign Magazine doesn’t affect hotel bookings. Fluffy creative don’t affect the bottom line. Awareness drives results, right? Wrong.

Changing minds and attitudes affects hotel bookings. Forget whether it’s creative or not, the Trivago advert shows a complete lack of the business intelligence the Marketing Manager clearly assumed they were using.

Who are Trivago’s biggest competitors? Other hotel booking companies? How about Airbnb, for arguments sake? Who would pay extra for a hotel when Airbnb is cheaper and often more central, more ‘real’, more of an experience?

Perhaps traditionalists, resort-lovers, people who love being pampered would… So pick an audience. Talk about the specific benefits for that specific audience and play against the negatives of competitors like Airbnb. Change people’s attitudes about holidays.

The Trivago adverts do none of this. This simply raises awareness of the brand, without addressing why people would use a service like theirs in the first place.

If you still don’t see the point, think about McDonald’s. Awareness couldn’t be higher, but still, not everyone wants to eat there.

What can Employer Brand learn from Trivago?

That the point of advertising is rarely ‘raising awareness’. It’s changing attitudes. The clever bit is understanding what attitudes need to change.