TripAdvisor Makes Network Connections

BOSTON To introduce TripAdvisor’s traveler network feature that allows users to create their own community of experts, Connelly Partners is launching a national ad campaign and, fittingly enough, a five-city promotional tour.

The push from the Needham, Mass.-based client features rich-media banners with small silhouettes of people who multiply and morph into the shape of icons from possible destinations, such as the Eiffel Tower for France and the familiar boot shape of Italy.

The goal is to entice viewers to discover the benefits of having an online network through TripAdvisor by showcasing site features such as map plotting and the insights one can gain from harnessing the knowledge of others who have become familiar with various destinations.

Agency cd Alyssa D’Arienzo Toro oversaw the effort, working with Keith Manning, senior art director, and Jim Bell, senior copywriter.

Ads launch next Monday, running on travel and general-interest sites and social networking destinations. Some national newspaper buys are also in the mix.

The tour begins July 20 in Boston, then moves through New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver and San Francisco, stopping for three days in each city. A uniformed street team, along with TripAdvisor’s owl mascot, Ollie, will promote a sweepstakes contest and encourage consumers to build their own traveler networks on the site.

Connelly, an independent agency here, added the business in March 2006 and last summer launched a campaign touting TripAdvisor’s PDF travel guides.

TripAdvisor has spent about $5 million on ads in recent years, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The site claims 24 million unique visitors per month and more than 5 million members who review hotels, restaurants and local attractions. The company is a unit of travel planning and booking giant