The site, which launched in 2007, is rolling out its debut TV ad, created by production company iCreate4, to promote the restaurant booking tools it offers.
The ad, which breaks this week, features an animated character struggling to book a table at a restaurant by phone. He then uses Bookatable’s live booking and confirmation tool to make a reservation. The ad ends with the character enjoying a meal with his wife.
The company will also use the campaign to introduce its strap-line ‘If you’re eating out, Bookatable.com’.
The campaign will be supported by digital activity and a social-media competition. The site will give its fans on Facebook the opportunity to win restaurant-themed prizes by identifying when and where they have spotted the TV ad.
Village Green is handling the media planning and buying for the campaign.
To date, Bookatable’s marketing has relied on CRM, paid search, social media and SEO. According to Celia Pronto, the site’s managing director of consumer marketing, while Bookatable enjoys significant brand awareness online, it is looking to ‘spread its message’ to a mass audience.
‘Bookatable is better-placed than rivals because it offers the widest range of choice, from everyday restaurants to Mich-elin-starred ones,’ said Pronto.
The campaign will run for five weeks, with another burst of activity planned for later this year. The brand, which offers iPhone and Android apps, also plans to make mobile a primary channel.
Rival services including 5pm. co.uk, TopTable, Square Meal, OpenTable and Lastminute.com also offer restaurant deals.