• Frank Cervi

Why the Trivago Guy Appeals to Women (A Branding Success Story)


Depending on your level of sleeplessness (or you don’t watch regular TV anymore), you may or may not be aware of the Trivago Guy, the slightly creased, sad-eyed star of a series of ads for the Germany-based booking site.

In the commercials, Trivago Guy explains how the site can help you "find the ideal hotel for the best price," though he's far from your average spokesperson. From his overall lack of grooming – mussed hair, slight scruff and a crinkled wardrobe that looks like the director surprised him on laundry day (why is he not wearing a belt?) – to the bags beneath his eyes, which suggest that he's seen some shit, is a sociopath, or has just done drugs, TG is the rare pitchman capable of haunting your dreams while simultaneously inflaming your loins.

In short, there's just something odd about him, so it should come as no surprise that over the years, Trivago Guy has become a sensation, the subject of think pieces about gender equality and brand identity, odes to his "compelling mix of sexy/creepy" and requests by even gay men to "pound my boygina mercylessly [sic]." He's the spokesperson we, as a society, have been clamoring for: The sloppy,sexy, pitchman.

There is the requisite fake Twitter account, a series of memes that hint at a darkness and sadness within the Trivago Guy. Forget that Dos Equis dude, Trivago Guy is the Most Interesting Man in the World.

Yet, while his star continues to rise, Trivago Guy – whose real name is Tim Williams – has remained a mystery.

For the longest time I had wanted to start binging the acclaimed Italian-American Mafioso HBO show, The Sopranos. About ¾ into S1 there was an episode in where AJ (Tony Sopranos son) gets drunk with a few friends before their afternoon gym class. As the scene unfolds, AJ and his friends arrive late to said gym class and are scorned by their gym teacher due to their obvious drunken stupor. That gym teacher is played by none other than, Tim Williams—aka, the Trivago Guy. I had to pause the program and confirm via internet pictures, but yes, that is him!

Anyway, the point is, the Trivago Guy teaches us all a lesson in branding and marketing; that being unusual or odd can be a great thing. Showing up on screen, selling discount fares for hotels looking like you just woke up from a weekend bender in Vegas, slapping together your slacks and a dress shirt with no belt to garnish, screams odd—especially when you’re suppose to look professional when selling anything. However, the Trivago Guy was a smart move in that he gave on-lookers (especially females) something to talk about (his odd fashion sense and mystique). Women often love a guy who needs work, a project: a deadbeat, carjacking, pump-and-dumping motherfucker. The Trivago Guy oozes a dude who needs a female touch, yet, he has his shit-together when it comes to confidently telling you about low hotel prices. It’s an odd mix of charisma, and zero-fucks given that get the women all moist beyond the jungle canopy.

I will now leave you with actual comments I found from the deep and darkest parts of the internet, in where people exercise their infatuation, sexual confusion, and maybe even lust, over the Trivago Guy.

“He looks sleazy, unshaved and hot.”—Anonymous

"When the commercials first started airing (in this area anyway), there was no Trivago guy present in the ads themselves...I just heard THAT VOICE doing the narration. Found myself wondering what HE looked like and was rewarded by ads in which he was actually featured. There is a God. He looked as edible as he sounded. Something about him...he doesn't try too hard and has a devil-may-care quality about him. A tad raunchy and would be a great f*ck, I'm sure."—All kinds of hot

"The ad has gotten a lot of mixed commentary. It seems viewers run hot or cold on Tim Williams." —Anonymous

"He does hold out the promise of a rough and dirty fuck. I like him."—Anonymous

“he seems methy”—Anonymous

"The first time I saw the commercial I had to find out about him. I really want to smell his cock through his underwear. I hope he has some nudes and or sex tape floating around out there."—Anonymous

“He's also a bit rough in the sack.”

"I'm not surprised. He gives off that vibe."

—Anonymous

"I was surprised when I found something about him that attracted me....still can't decide what it is..."

—Anonymous

"He is repulsive with red blotchy skin. He looks like he smells like an ashtray."

—Anonymous

#TrivagoGuy #Minimalism

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© 2020 Frank Cervi