Ad of the Day: Booking.com

W+K welcomes the lodging site to the U.S. with a spot full of unbridled joy

A crappy hotel room will cast a pretty dark cloud over a vacation. Don't get a crappy hotel room.

Priceline-owned accommodations site Booking.com is launching its first-ever TV campaign—a paean to the moment of relief, which can then manifest as elation, when a traveler opens his or her hotel-room door for the first time and realizes, after the long slog to get there, that it's totally posh and comfortable (rather than say, roadside-motel seedy with stains on the bedsheets). Created by Wieden + Kennedy in Amsterdam, the campaign is titled "The Delight of Right"—meaning, the delight of getting the hotel room right—and will start out airing on cable and broadcast in the U.S.

The company already has strong roots in Europe. It's booked more than a billion nights for guests since launching in 1996, lists some 265,000 properties worldwide, ranging from bed-and-breakfasts to treehouse hotels, and offers customer service in 41 languages. But it's looking to gain share in the U.S., where it's highly rated among consumers (per J.D. Power & Associates). U.S. workers' typical two-week vacation allotments, smaller than in other markets, raise the stakes further on getting the hotel choice right, Booking.com CMO Paul Hennessy said, leading the brand to focus its messaging on the site's ability to help users feel secure in their decision, aided by photos and reviews for each location.

The spot itself, directed by Traktor, is nicely put together, and gets just far enough beyond cheesy to turn the corner into charmingly goofy. The decision to hammer viewers over the head with the brand name by using it as substitute adjective for a certain curse word should be a lot more annoying than it is—the fact that it's vaguely explicit makes it just self-deprecating enough to not be too abrasive. A lot hinges on the solid casting, too, in particular the exaggerated facial expressions—the extra-bored look on the teenage daughter's face as the family shuffles down the hallway; the eye-popping effect the giant lobster has on the guy who's ordered room service; the terror in the dweeb's face as he and his girlfriend wind through the jungle, some cousin to a velociraptor screeching in the background.

Hopefully, for that couple, whatever that monster is, it's not aggro enough to join them in the bungalow.

CREDITS

Client: Booking.com

CEO: Darren Houston

CMO: Paul Hennessy

Brand Director: Cort Cunningham

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam

Executive Creative Directors: Mark Bernath & Eric Quennoy

Creative Directors: Mark Bernath & Eric Quennoy

Copywriters: Rick Chant, Zach Watkins

Art Director: Barney Hobson

Head of Broadcast: Erik Verheijen

Agency Producer: Tony Stearns

Planners: Martin Weigel, Richard Oldfield

Group Account Director: Jordi Pont

Account Manager: Bastien Laurent

Project Manager: Jackie Barbour

Business Affairs: Michael Graves, Emilie Douqué

Media Buy: Wieden + Kennedy, New York

Production Company: Traktor

Director: Traktor

Director of Photography: Stéphane Fontaine

Head of Production: Rani Melendez

Executive Producer: Richard Ulfvengren

Editing Company: Final Cut London

Editor: Edward Line

Executive Producer: Michelle Corney

Audio Post: Wave Amsterdam

Sound Designer/Mixer: Alex Nicholls-Lee

Music: Massive Music

Artist / Title: Various tracks

Music Company: Massive Music

Music Producer: Mr. Tommy Zee

Online/VFX: Glassworks Amsterdam

Flame: Morten Vinther

Executive Producer: Jane Bakx

Telecine: Finish

Colorist: Paul Harrison

Executive Producer: Fi Kilroe