The Advertising Apprentice

January 24, 2015

Trivago Guy Gets a Makeover

Filed under: Advertising — adamlauzon @ 9:17 AM
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Earlier this week I saw a Trivago commercial and to my pleasant surprise the rugged looking star of Trivago’s spots has received a makeover. Gone are the days of Trivago Guy (TG) being beltless, dishevelled and in strong need of a shave. Now we have him with a new haircut, a form-fitting shirt that’s buttoned appropriately and his facial hair isn’t nearly as gruff.

To refresh your memory, here’s a before spot with the relaxed and casual-looking TG:

And if you go to you’ll be able to see the after spot.

For better comparison, here’s a before-and-after picture:


The Trivago spots with Tim Williams starring as TG began airing in 2013 to promote the German travel website. In July 2014, Rolling Stone did a really great profile on Tim Williams. Some highlights:

  • He’s obsessed with rock music, (which likely explains why he had a profile in Rolling Stone.
  • He moved to Germany when he got the lead in a film, but decided to stay there because he met a girl.
  • The clothes he wore in the commercial were not his. The client wanted a relaxed, casual approach. The client, not Williams, also decided that he should forego the belt.

Last summer to cater to all the criticism Trivago received for TG’s look, the company decided they’d have a contest where people could provide style advice and input to contribute to the TG’s makeover. The winner, an Atlanta stylist, was to be flown to Berlin for a five-night stay and got to watch the filming of the new spot.

I must say that I really like Trivago’s approach in getting people in engaged. It feels extremely empowering when a company can facilitate this kind of interaction. And when a consumer feels a connection to a brand, they’re much more likely to be loyal to that brand and be a customer for life.

This is why social media is so integral to a brand strategy; it creates that ability to interact directly with the company. Of course on their end, the company must do it right in terms of how they respond to their consumers, and it can be time consuming. But in an age where everyone has a smart phone and is constantly on social media whether it be Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. a strong and effective social media presence is absolutely essential.

Next week I’ll be in Toronto for Advertising Week 2015. I’m really looking forward to hearing Stephen Dubner, Terry O’Reilly, Marc Stoiber, and Tracy Danicich share their thoughts on innovative social marketing and public sector campaigns. Of course, in the coming days I’ll post an entry on the insights from this lecture.


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