TripAdvisor Names Anne Bologna VP-Brand Strategy

After 25 Years in Adland, the Former Fallon, Toy Exec Heads to the Client Side

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After a 25-year career on Madison Avenue, Anne Bologna is headed to the client side. She's been named VP-brand strategy at TripAdvisor as the travel site plots a major national ad push this fall.

Anne Bologna
Anne Bologna

Ms. Bologna was most recently managing director at MDC Partners, but parted ways with the ad holding company in April. Earlier she owned her own New York shop called Toy, worked at Publicis Groupe's Fallon and at independent agency Cramer-Krasselt.

In her new post, she'll report to TripAdvisor CMO Barbara Messing. Ms. Messing has been at the company since February 2011, and before that spent nine years at Hotwire.

"We are so delighted that Anne has joined us," said Ms. Messing. "She has an incredible track record and has worked with some of the world's most beloved brands." Among those are Amazon Kindle, Virgin and Starbucks.

One reason TripAdvisor has added Ms. Bologna's role to its marketing department now is because it's just begun testing its first-ever TV campaign. Although the travel site -- which was founded 13 years ago -- claims 200 million unique visitors a month and country-specific sites in 21 languages, it has never used broadcast channels to connect with consumers.

Its especially trying to reach North American travelers; currently 75% of its traffic comes from outside the United States. "We felt like there was still a bigger opportunity to tell the TripAdvisor story...there's a huge segment of travelers or folks who plan and research trips online who aren't familiar with our brand," said Ms. Messing.

Ms. Bologna is currently in the process of relocating to the Boston area to be closer to TripAdvisor's Massachusetts headquarters. The TV campaign, which the company declined to provide specifics about, is among her immediate tasks. The company doesn't have an agency of record, but for this campaign it's working with a local shop called The Fantastical, and with Interpublic Group of Cos.' Hill Holliday for media-buying. Testing will take place in certain U.S. markets and a nationwide launch is slated for later this year.

"I already bought into the mission of the brand, but to hear them talk about the ambitions of the business, and activitating their existing base of loyal users, is exciting," said Ms. Bologna. "At this juncture TripAdvisor has unlimited potential in terms of growth and users"

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