Captain Obvious is the New Face of Hotels.com

It’s 2014 and it’s become essential for brands to change, revitalize, and evolve to meet the demands of the market. Storytelling in advertising has become even more important today than ever before because of ad-saturated media. It’s easy to forget simple and generic ads, so agencies are pushing to create those memorable characters that make consumers stop and watch. Hotels.com sought to capture the public’s attention by doing just this. While Progressive has Flo, Allstate has Mayhem, Geico has that Gecko, and Dos Equis has the Most Interesting Man in the World, Hotels.com aims to make its mark with Captain Obvious.

Phrases including Captain Obvious have been a part of our society’s language for a very long time, so this creative pitch is something immediately recognizable for the consumer. The concept of the ad is to say that booking hotels with Hotels.com is the obvious choice. The advertisers didn’t want their character to be perceived as dumb, but as simply stating what is apparent to most people. They hoped to craft a character that was both original and interesting. Check the television commercial out right here:

I found the commercial to be humorous and charming. I really like the concept of the advertisement and thought that it was clever. While I appreciate Hotels.com’s attempt to create a really dynamic character, there is something missing for me with the storytelling aspect of the ad. I liked the look of the character, but the fast-paced changing scenery made it a little difficult for me to create a relationship with the character and the actor seemed to be like a normal guy dressed as a captain of a ship saying obvious things. I don’t know if the character felt unique or really memorable. Like many other characters in other commercials, there is a certain aspect of their personalities that seemed kooky or weird or awesome. With Captain Obvious, I didn’t quite get that. However the ad did make me chuckle and it was quite entertaining so there is a certain success to the ad overall. I personally feel that the character lacked a certain punch. If this ad’s goal was to be memorable with a character, I feel that it fell short despite the raw idea. However it is important to note that this ad did try to relate to the audience and keeps your attention.

Sources:

Elliott, S. (2014, February 25). For Hotels.com’s Campaign, the Answer was Obvious. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/26/business/media/for-hotelscoms-campaign-the-answer-was-obvious.html?_r=0

6 thoughts on “Captain Obvious is the New Face of Hotels.com

  1. I think creating a character for a company that doesn’t have a clear brand image is a great way to do so. The hope is that the character will become part of mainstream culture, as Flo has, and will promote the brand beyond the confines of advertisements via Halloween costumes, memes or trending hashtags on Twitter.

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  2. Pingback: Captain Obvious is the New Face of Hotels.com | Loyola Digital … | Vacation Guide Site

  3. I agree, this is good for a company that hasn’t had a character so far. However, Captain Obvious might get old quickly, I’m not sure how long it could be used for going long term.

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  4. Captain Obvious seems like a good campaigning idea but it’s used so much in everyday speech that people might have a hard time relating that term/name to Hotels.com. Also having such a ditzy guys promoting vacations doesn’t exactly promote trust for their brand.

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