Hotels.com today broke a new campaign from a new agency.
The Dallas, Texas-based booking platform has been working with CPB since 2013, but today released a push from Knoxville, Tenn.-based Tombras that also promotes casino and resort chain Resorts World.
The nearly two-minute video stars the brand’s mascot Captain Obvious, who takes viewers on a high-speed tour through Resorts World's brand-new Las Vegas property, the first integrated resort to open on the Strip in a decade. In it, he explores the array of amenities and experiences spanning 40 bars, five pools, 3,500 rooms, dozens of restaurants, casinos and live performance venues across three different hotels. “It’s so big it would be ridiculous to show you all of it in one video, so that’s exactly what I’m going to try to do now,” he says.
The new campaign work was spearheaded by Jeff Benjamin, a former CPB leader who joined Tombras in 2019 after a two-year stint at Barton F. Graf. Benjamin spent eight years as a creative at CPB before leaving the agency in 2012. Tombras referred calls for comment to Hotels.com.
It was reported by Adweek in June that CPB had lost the Hotels.com account though the client did not confirm at the time, only saying: “We are working with our new marketing leadership to evaluate our agency relationships.” At press time, CPB was not immediately available for comment.
When asked about its relationship with CPB, Hotels.com issued a statement from Mike Wolfe, head of global brand creative, which said, "We have a number of agency partners that we work with in a variety of ways. Tombras has been a great collaborator for us on this Resorts World Las Vegas partnership. Over the years we've refined the brand's strategy, as well as the Captain Obvious character, which allows us to work with multiple partners effectively."
The new spot was directed by Quinn Katherman out of Hummingbird Content Studios. Katherman previously worked as a creative director and writer at CPB, on clients including Hotels.com. She joined Tombras as a group creative director this past February, but this month joined the directorial roster of production company Prettybird.
Hotels.com has continued advertising throughout the pandemic. In March of 2020, it replaced its campaign at the time with a stay-at-home message from CPB depicting Captain Obvious in an uncharacteristically sedentary scenario. The following June, as it started to creep back into promoting travel, it debuted a humorous campaign from the agency asking consumers if they remember such things as “places.” This past March the company's first campaign of the year, also from CPB, centered on the idea of “revenge travel,” which tapped into consumers’ desire to make up for a year of being banned from their typical getaways. It followed in May with a series of “educational” films from CPB created in the style of old-school after-school specials that encouraged consumers to “practice safe booking.” This new push, however, does not allude to the pandemic at all.
“Las Vegas has always been one of the most popular destinations for Hotels.com travelers and we’re thrilled to have Captain Obvious help show off the city’s newest addition,” said Wolfe in a statement. “With Hotels.com, travelers can earn rewards wherever they stay and use rewards to stay where they want, including new properties like Resorts World Las Vegas.”
Tombras has created some notable work recently for brands like Pernod Ricard’s American Whiskey Portfolio and Big Lots, both of which the agency won creative agency-of-record duties for this year.
Tombras has had a string of account wins this year. In June the agency won creative and media AOR duties for Edible. In February, Tombras was named media AOR for the American Cancer Society, beating out incumbent Zenith. In May, Mozilla tapped the agency to be its social media AOR.