Hotels.com, a consumer site for online hotel booking, is unifying its brand presence worldwide. The company says new changes to the global branding platform will continue throughout the year, with most countries seeing the largest part of the change effective in the second quarter this year. There will be new advertising, logos, tagline and Web sites in various global markets, per the company.
The brand's spokesperson in its advertising over the past several years has been an animated "educated consumer" character. The company, however, is replacing the consumer with an erudite concierge who is full of ideas on how to find the right hotel and enjoy the stay. Also gone is the use of real animated clay characters, or Claymation, which the company is replacing with computer-generated imagery. The new campaign features the concierge, who like his predecessor is named "Smart," along with family members and friends, according to the company.
Also new is a logo, a multi-hue, 3D "H." The logo -- in which the capital letter has several layers, each one a different color -- is, according to the company, intended to represent the "abundance of choices hotels.com provides in destinations, hotel types, and price points."
The company says the logo and a palette of sub-logos are intended to be visual identifiers for various sales categories. And there's also a new tag, which was chosen via Facebook poll: "Finding you the perfect place is all we do."
Hotels.com is a division of Internet consumer travel consortium Expedia, Inc., which was spun off from Microsoft in the late 1990s, acquired by TicketMaster than spun off again. Expedia, Inc., whose eponymous consumer travel site competes with Orbitz, Travelocity and Priceline, also owns Classic Vacations, eLong.com, Egencia, formerly Expedia Corporate Travel, Hotwire Group, and Venere.com.
Expedia.com is near the top of a list of 15 travel sites aggregated and ranked by eBizMBA, which runs a continuously updated average of each Web site's Alexa Global Traffic Rank, and U.S. Traffic Rank from both Compete and Quantcast. Number one is TripAdvisor, followed by Yahoo Travel, Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, Orbitz, Kayak, Hotels, TravelZoo, Hotwire, Booking, CheapTickets, LonelyPlanet, VirtualTourist and TravelPod.