TripAdvisor to Start Airing TV Ads

By Devon Glenn 

TripAdvisor is planning a television advertising campaign to introduce its hotel booking and community review site to a mainstream audience. The company’s co-founder and CEO, Stephen Kaufer, mentioned the plan in last night’s quarterly earnings call.

“We are scheduled to begin testing our first TV ad later this quarter, and you should expect us — expect to see us on air in a meaningful way starting in Q3 in the U.S.,” Kaufer said to call participants. “As always, we will test and learn.”

Last quarter, TripAdvisor saw an average of 200 million monthly unique visitors on its branded sites and now publishes more than 100 million reviews and opinions, the company said.

Another travel site that advertises on television is the deal aggregator Kayak, which is a competitor to TripAdvisor now that the review site has added meta search and display results to help travelers compare prices and availability before they book a hotel.

After rolling out the meta feature to smartphone users in the fourth quarter of 2012, Kaufer said it now reaches more than half of TripAdvisor’s worldwide traffic with the addition of desktop and tablet users in the first quarter of 2013.

He said later in the call that the offline branding campaign will begin when the meta feature reaches 100 percent of TripAdvisor’s users, which should happen later this quarter.

Image by Frontpage.