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Dot.Coms Heed Trumpet's Call

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New Orleans Shop Adds Online Hotel Booker as Fifth Web Client
NEW ORLEANS--Trumpet Ad-vertising is fast becoming the Big Easy's dot.com agency du jour.
Following its four Internet account wins earlier last year, the New Orleans shop closed out 1999 by adding the $10 million ad business of turbotrip. com, an on-line hotel reservation service.
Trumpet was hired at the end of December, when the client was known as RoomFinders.com. The shop's first effort was to persuade management to rebrand the site as turbotrip.
In the wake of the name change, Trumpet is designing a new logo and URL for the 9-year-old worldwide hotel booking service.
"Turbotrip.com is aggressively expanding [its] business model," Trumpet co-founder Jim Gradl told Adweek. "We'll be breaking a national multimedia campaign this quarter, and integrating their online and offline strategies. The category is hotly contested, but turbo-trip.com owns a unique position, which is the diversity of its product."
Category leaders are currently Travelocity and Microsoft's expedia.com.
Six agencies vied for the account, whose budget is scheduled to increase to $15 million annually in the second and third years of the contract. Other contenders included Keating Magee, Graham Group and Zehnder Communications, all of New Orleans.
The national image campaign, which Gradl said will break next month, will include print, television, spot radio and outdoor.
"We decided Trumpet was the agency to best help us rapidly grow into a market leader," said Chris Lopez, president and chief executive officer of turbotrip.com.
Turbotrip.com books hotel rooms in over 400 cities around the world, linking Internet users to its URL through city and hotel Web sites, which include newyork.com and Hilton Hotels' main venue. Trumpet's mission is to build the company's brand in a competitive field.
"We need to carve out our niche with a high image awareness campaign," Trumpet co-founder Robbie Vitrano said.
The agency's pitch included a strategic marketing plan that integrated public relations with online and traditional marketing strategies, Vitrano said.
"The key is that turbotrip.com provides everything from big hotel chains to bed and breakfasts," he added. "The variety of those offerings are what makes turbotrip.com different."
Trumpet's also has fbgb.com, hot-seats.com, nola.com and mardigras.com as Internet clients.