DeVito Verdi Plays Up Bargains

NEW YORK has put out a call for all cheapskates today, as it launches a four-spot radio campaign by DeVito Verdi that aims to lure “Coupon Charlies” out of the closet and onto its discount travel Web site.

The thirty-second spots by the New York agency ask listeners, “Do you haggle at the dollar store?” “Do you consider double coupon day a national holiday?” and “On your last vacation did you make your kids pitch in for gas?” Another asks listeners if they’ve been called “cheapo” and “penny-pincher.” If so, “you’re our kind of customer.” The spots end with the tagline, “Fly. Sleep. Drive. Cheap.”

“With the state of the economy the way it is, it’s a very timely message,” said Ty Shay, vp of marketing for the San Francisco-based client. “No longer are people ashamed of trying to save a few dollars here and there. In fact, it’s a badge of honor,” he said.

The national campaign is in heavy rotation in Western cities including San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver, Seattle and Phoenix, Shay said. The company tested various media in various cities, and decided radio was the most effective and, er, cheapest way to go, he said. It will play in lighter rotation across the country, Shay said.

“We’re going back to the markets that tested the best,” said Shay. “A lot of cities like New York, Boston and Washington, D.C. didn’t work as well and our hypothesis is that there are fewer driving commuters,” he said.

An in-house redesign of the Hotwire Web site that aims to showcase more offers, rather than relying on design to lure customers, also launches today.