Uncreative, the lowest common denominator and unnerving are just some of the comments that the latest Trivago ad has received.
It’s never great when you are being dragged through the press for the wrong reasons – just ask Wayne Rooney.
So what exactly should Trivago be doing right now?
Sit there and take the endless negative PR coming their way, happy in the knowledge that their current advertising is performing very well?
Or should they be looking to turn a bad situation into a positive?
At Atomic, we for one think it should be the latter. The key for any brand now is about having an "always on" attitude, which we describe as "never quiet": always being aware of things going on, having the ability to tap into current culture and news.
By being reactive and always keeping your finger on the pulse you always have the ability to create positive noise about your brands.
Let’s look at Trivago again. Imagine if, tomorrow, they switched 20 Tube stations in London to this creative that seizes on the Rooney story:
Yes, this is a bit of fun our creative wizards dreamt up this weekend, but if they did this they’d be lauded.
By tapping into popular culture, taking advantage of their newfound PR fame and adding in a simple and eyecatching creative idea, they would be able to turn the tables on the negativity.
We can’t change history, the media coverage has happened, the public have been freaked out and Gabrielle Miller (the face of the Trivago campaign) has grown into a superstar overnight.
However, our point is that with a slightly more creative approach Trivago could go from death by media bulldozers to creative geniuses.
This won’t happen of course, growth targets have been smashed and budgets spent. But they can always do better…
Guy Bradbury and Dave Henderson are creative partners at Atomic London