We need to talk about the Trivago ad
A view from Sarah Hardcastle

We need to talk about the Trivago ad

The British public deserves better than a bored model with a big search bar.

Try moving anywhere through central London right now and you're certain to bump into the same person.

The Trivago woman.

She's everywhere. Her bored expression watching from every bus side and six-sheet with a vague promise of ideal hotels at the best price. Her big blue search button barely tempting you to book a getaway to Amsterdam, New York or Costa Brava.

If we live in the age of the 48-shit poster, then surely this is the worst of the bunch.

Online, Twitter and Instagram are equally bemused by the dark-haired lady's march of terror. Why is she always going to Amsterdam? Why won't she show us any of these ideal hotels she's so smug about?

The problem is nobody asks to look at an advert on their way to work, much less get stalked home by endless repetitions of the same poster. Which is why as an industry we have a duty to create work that is at most entertaining, and at least informative. The Trivago ad does neither.

We spend a lot of time championing brave creative work, awarding ideas that change the world and craft that makes you cry. But for every Grand Prix out there, there are a thousand turkeys of the week silently boring the pants off people.

Perhaps it's time we took more notice and held ourselves accountable? Perhaps with the fear of our peers pointing at our terrible ideas, those missed opportunities we slide shame-faced to the back of the reel, we'll all fight harder to create something brilliant.

I don't know the circumstances that led to the Trivago ad, but it’s clear a marketing director took the decision to prioritise media spend over creative. This is what we’re up against, an industry that’s forgotten the point of communicating more than just a logo.

Not every brief requires a big-budget John Lewis brand campaign, but it does need to make the brand worth remembering for the right reasons. Whether that's a unique product benefit or an emotional one.

We can do better than bland media buyouts, and the British public deserves better than a bored model with a big search bar.

Sarah Hardcastle is a creative at Mr President. The photo above is her recreation of the ad.