Travelocity Embarks on $80 Mil. Campaign

DALLAS McKinney + Silver has launched an $80 million campaign for Travelocity involving a gnome who is stolen from his owner and sent on a travel adventure, the client confirmed.

The effort is the first from the Raleigh, N.C.-based Havas shop, which in October won what was then a $30 million account.

In the new campaign, the Roaming Gnome, a two-foot-tall character with a red hat, long white beard and blue coat, writes to his owner about his cliff diving in Mexico, winter skiing, cheese eating in Quebec and flying. The television spots include the tagline, “Book with Travelocity: Don’t forget your hat,” which the client said signifies its efforts to take care of a customer’s needs.

The client said the character “represents the spirit of Travelocity travelers with his adventurous, enthusiastic and fun-loving nature,” in a statement.

Prior to the TV campaign, which broke Jan. 1 during the 2004 Rose Bowl, the agency staged a three-week guerilla campaign that ran in cinemas, classifieds and online [Adweek, Jan. 5]. The ads were designed to look like handwritten notes by the gnome’s owner, who asks if anyone has seen his stolen collectible. The work directed viewers to the Web site,

The spots will run on cable and DirecTV. The effort also includes national and local radio and print.

Dallas-based The Richards Group previously handled creative duties for the Fort Worth, Texas-based client. Omnicom’s OMD in New York is responsible for media planning and buying.

McKinney + Silver could not be reached for comment.