TripAdvisor Hires Shops for Its First Offline Campaign

Fall effort is expected to include TV ads

TripAdvisor is planning its first offline campaign this fall and has hired new agencies to lead the charge.

After a review, the travel website has hired The Fantastical to handle creative responsibilities and Hill Holliday to plan and buy media. TripAdvisor declined to discuss its media budget for the fall effort, but sources estimated it at $30 million.

The Fantastical is a startup in Boston that’s led by former Mullen group creative directors Michael Ancevic and Steve Mietelski. Hill Holliday, of course, is a full-service mainstay of the Boston market and unit of Interpublic Group.

In hiring Hill Holliday, TripAdvisor chief marketing officer Barbara Messing cited the agency’s “strong strategic approach to planning and buying [which is] supported by robust analytics.”

The Fantastical, as lead creative shop, meanwhile, will focus on bringing TripAdvisor’s brand message to TV, “as we learn how offline advertising can impact our growth and introduce the … brand to even more people,” Messing said.

In the past, TripAdvisor marketed itself primarily online. Those efforts, which are handled in-house, will continue in tandem with the offline campaign.

TripAdvisor’s site is known for its consumer reviews of hotels, rentals and restaurants. Late last year, the brand began to roll out a meta search function that enables users to compare hotel prices. That new function gives the brand a bigger story to tell as it ventures into traditional advertising for the first time.