Travel site Hotwire.com has always been a down-and-dirty direct response advertiser, hammering home its message of low prices without too much regard for creativity. Now, in a pair of new spots from Donat/Wald + Haque, it's trying to branch out a bit. Instead of relentlessly harping on the great deals you can get with Hotwire, the new messaging incorporates the more general notion that people would all like to take more trips to cool places. This element is visualized in a fun way, with people towering over a giant grassy CGI map of America. (The campaign as a whole is called "Map World.") When they talk about a particular city, a small version of it pops up out of nowhere—with its recognizable landmarks and little people tooling around doing regionally appropriate stuff (grilling in Austin, surfing in San Diego). Somewhat jarringly, the spots try to shoehorn in an on-screen price comparison versus Travelocity and Orbitz in the middle. But then we're back to the map and the little cities. We're not talking earth-shattering work here, but it's all quite visually appealing and playful, and makes travel to these places feel literally within one's grasp.
Agency: Donat/Wald + Haque, Santa Monica, Calif.
Spots: "Surf's Up," "One Year"