Why There's No Escaping the 'Trivago Guy'

And Why There's More to the Company's Advertising Than Tim Williams

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It's not your imagination. You are seeing even more of Trivago Guy lately.

Trivago Guy isn't in all of the travel website's ads, but the company, which is owned by Expedia, has launched eight new spots since June 29, according to iSpot.tv. The most recent spot, "Trivago Check," which has only been on air since July 8, has already amounted to $1.4 million in spending, iSpot.tv reports.

Though Trivago, a German-based travel band that aggregates hotel prices from over 200 booking sites, launched in 2005, it didn't start advertising in the U.S. until 2011. In 2013, the legend of Trivago Guy was born after he made his first ad appearance sort of looking like he just rolled out of bed and threw on whatever was closest to hand. By last year, the spokesman -- who is now a bit more dapper (thanks to some help) -- had spurred memes, GIFs, fake Twitter accounts, a Funny or Die parody and a slew of articles from Rolling Stone to Slate to Elle.

But Trivago Guy's slightly rumpled appearance wasn't the only reason people took notice. Last year, Trivago spent $83.6 million in measured media in the U.S. That accounted for 32% of Expedia's overall 2014 media spend of $261.3 million, according to Kantar Media. And that was up from $20.2 million in 2013.

Additionally, the spot "Compare Prices," was ranked as the No. 4 top spending ad of 2014 by iSpot.tv. Comparatively, Priceline spent $53.6 million on measured media for its Kayak service in 2014.

"That's kind of an aggressive market place and unless you're upfront with consumers, throughout the year, you're easily forgotten about," said Cormach Moore, a founding partner at Noah London Agency, who worked on a London Underground campaign for Trivago. (The TV spots, however, are done in-house.)

Jon Eichelberger, regional manager and head of business development and strategy in North America for Trivago, cited the summer travel season as one reason for the surge in advertisements. One place that the increased ads are felt is on Univision, as 21.9% of Trivago's ads appeared on the network since January, reported iSpot.tv. The Spanish-language ads don't use Trivago Guy and are more travel-oriented.

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"The Spanish market was a market that was fitting," Mr. Eichelberger said. "It was there in the U.S. and probably underserved, and that's not something that scares us ... so we said let's make sure we advertise in a Spanish speaking network."

Mr. Eichelberger described Trivago's target audience as "predominately female," ranging from 28 to 45. He said ideally "they have two incomes and no kids."

The company has plans to roll out a new set of spots within six weeks, but wouldn't comment if Mr. Williams would continue as the brand's spokesman.

"We have a pretty good direction in where we want to go creatively," Mr. Eichelberger said. "Our approach is pretty lighthearted, we don't like to take ourselves too seriously."

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