- Online travel agency Booking.com unveiled an advertising campaign starring actor, producer and writer Tina Fey. The campaign highlights the agency’s ability to cater to the “diverse personas” travelers have while on vacation with its variety of hotel and rental stay offerings.
- The ad campaign, created with agencies Zulu Alpha Kilo and Mindshare, will run across television, audio streaming and online and social channels. It will officially launch during Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11.
- The marketing campaign focuses on “the evolving desires of travelers to explore […] who they want to be every time they travel,” according to Booking.com. Other recent campaigns by Choice Hotels International and Hotels.com similarly emphasize how different properties can meet different traveler needs — though hotels and OTAs are competing for bookings.
Booking.com’s newly launched ad campaign features the motto “book whoever you want to be” on vacation. According to the company, the marketing push shows travelers that “the joy of booking extends beyond choosing a place” and lies in “imagining the person you could become once you get there.”
In the advertisement’s sneak peek, Fey says: “With so many choices on Booking.com, there are so many Tina Feys I could be.” The ad portrays “Splurgy Tina” in a luxury hotel in Los Angeles, “Rustic Tina” in a cabin in Wyoming and “Wild Tina,” who booked a farm stay. The various Tinas are played by Fey’s famous counterparts, including actor Glenn Close.
The campaign launches as travelers increasingly take on different hats or personas while on vacation, according to Booking.com. In a recent survey on 2024 travel predictions, the company found that 50% of travelers said they have a “travel alter-ego.”
Booking.com’s campaign mirrors aspects of Choice Hotels’ “A Stay for Any You” campaign starring actor and writer Keegan-Michael Key, which launched last month.
In the campaign, Key plays the character “Any You,” portraying the various personas travelers take on for different trips. He plays a family man, a business leader and other traveler types in the ads. According to Choice, the campaign is based on “a very real moment in the trip planning process where [guests] ask, ‘which me am I going to be on this trip?’”
Also last month, Hotels.com launched a marketing campaign that cast itself as “matchmaker.” In the ads, it connected a variety of “very different travelers” with the hotels that fit their specific needs.
Choice Hotels Chief Marketing Officer Noha Abdalla previously told Hotel Dive the Choice campaign aims to drive direct bookings for Choice — something OTAs like Booking.com are increasingly gaining market share of.
According to a January report by SHR Group, a technology and service provider for the hotel sector, the share of reservations represented by direct bookings fell from 39% to 38% in 2023, equivalent to approximately 7.8 million global reservations. OTAs are capturing more direct bookings because of a recent influx of marketing spend, SHR Group noted.
To compete, hotels must adapt their marketing strategies and boost their loyalty membership, SHR Group detailed in the report.
Choice is one hotel company upping its marketing investment in a bid to hold on to direct bookings. Hotel industry experts have speculated that Choice’s public offer to acquire its peer Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, which would more than double the company’s loyalty member count, may also be a move to compete as pressure grows from OTAs.