Hotels.com’s Captain Obvious Is Campaigning to Guest Host HQ Trivia

Funny audition clip jumps on the latest craze

Could Hotels.com be HQ's first advertiser? Twitter: @CaptainObvious
Headshot of Lauren Johnson

Captain Obvious is ready for his close-up. One question at a time, though.

Hotels.com and agency CP+B’s latest fun digital stunt for the brand’s goofy character features Captain Obvious gunning to become the newest host of HQ Trivia.

HQ rose to prominence over the last few months, drawing millions of people twice a day for the chance to win money. Scott Rogowsky, who CP+B thinks resembles Captain Obvious a bit, hosts the trivia show. Last week, the brand posted a clip to Twitter after HQ tweeted that it was looking for new talent to potentially become guest hosts. During his minute-long audition, Obvious points out that “like most of you, I don’t know the answer to any of these questions.” And like Scott, Capt. Obvious also loves puns and maintains a “body that’s already optimized for vertical video.” The campaign centers around the hashtag #GetCaptainOnHQ.

“With all the hosts, especially Scott, on HQ, they’re engaging with the comments section—they don’t just read questions and take answers,” said Dan Corken, vp/executive producer at CP+B. “Captain is charismatic, he’s funny, he’s great with improv.”

https://twitter.com/CaptainObvious/status/964861668131041281

The agency reached out to HQ to see if there are any advertising opportunities within the app, but learned that HQ is not currently working on branded integrations. So, the team whipped up the audition clip while it was shooting some other social content with the character a couple of weeks ago.

“We looked at that and rather than hearing ‘no,’ we thought it might be good to be the first brand to figure this out,” Corken said. “We were filming Captain Obvious for something else and we thought, ‘Let’s just tack this script on at the end and see if we can put together something quickly.’”

CP+B has discussed the Captain Obvious integration with HQ but “nothing is final—we’ve certainly given them enough to think about,” he said.

HQ has experimented with a few guest hosts, including late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel last month.

The stunt is the latest example of how Hotels.com has had fun with Captain Obvious on platforms. A couple years ago, CP+B made a clever Facebook autoplay video and has also hacked skippable videos. He also has more than 430,000 followers on Twitter.


@laurenjohnson lauren.johnson@adweek.com Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.
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