What do you think of the Trivago spokesman?

Tim Williams, Trivago spokeman

Tim Williams, Trivago spokesman

Not having a DVR, I am still victim to every commercial thrown at me. Many if not most of you have by now practically forgotten what it’s like to be subjected to these monumental wastes of time (commercial breaks are getting longer and longer). Lucky you. That means you haven’t met the Trivago guy.

Slate did a piece on Trivago Guy a few days ago, with literary flourishes I can’t begin to emulate (I’m tempted to say “overwritten” but I’m not exactly sure what that means). I’ll just settle for saying I think Trivago’s spokesman is kind of sleazy. I wouldn’t buy anything from him and I might be a bit concerned if he approached me on the street.

Slate says Trivago is a German company and spokesman Tim Williams is a German soap opera actor. But if Trivago thinks Williams is an American everyman, they are mistaken. (Or maybe they aren’t mistaken, and I just don’t like Everyman). The man is definitely attractive. But a slouchy, rumpled shirt? A scruffy stubble? Definite ick factor. Stubble has its place, occasionally, but not on a spokesman that I’m supposed to like and trust. I prefer either clean shaven or proper facial hair, neatly groomed. Stubble is just plain unkempt. Or maybe he’s supposed to look like the morning after the night before in a Trivago hotel.

Slate even skewered Williams for not wearing a belt — something I hadn’t noticed until they mentioned it. But hey, he’s wearing jeans. I don’t know about styles elsewhere, but around here jeans sans belts are the norm. (Oh sure, cowboys wear belts, but they need something to hold those big fancy buckles.) I do think the jeans look too long and a bit sloppy as a result.

I won’t presume to speak for anyone else, but I’m not buying anything from this guy until he showers, shaves, and finds a clean shirt.

And yes, I realize that my calling your attention to Williams and Trivago is exactly what Trivago (and any advertiser) hopes to accomplish.

Update, January 2, 2015: Still rubbing my eyes in disbelief. Just saw a new Trivago commercial where Williams is trying to shave and add a belt at the same time. Then he appears in a suit and tie! He’s also gotten a haircut. Then he says something about trying to do too many things at once. It seems maybe Trivago is trying to poke fun at themselves for their earlier commercials. 



Categories: advertising, Society, television, video content

42 replies

  1. Dumb commercial aside, I keep wondering if they have to pay those “other” sites to include their results. If so, how can they be cheaper? 😕

    • I’ve never understood how comparison ads work, how or if they pay each other to mention or not mention their names, rates, etc. I’m not sure anyone really understands how rates can vary so much from room to room, day to day, website to website. Such a racket. Anything to wring another dollar from the traveling public.

  2. Never saw the guy before, but I rarely see television ads (we tape most of what we want to look at). Now that I’ve seen him, I’ll be sure not to sign up for whatever he is peddling.

  3. Yea, I’ve seen this character several times and roll my eyes each time and reach for the ‘clicker’! I just wish he’d pull his pants up. He looks like one of those short-legged stick figures to me! 😕

    • I, too, think he looks very oddly proportioned. Torso too long, legs too short. Or maybe it’s because he’s not wearing that belt that was mentioned and his pants have slipped down too far. That would explain the wrinkly, bunched up legs. Whatever the reason, the man’s a mess.

  4. Hi PT- we don’t record, either, but I had not seen this one. I find his appearance too sloppy, and don’t see the nexus with booking hotel rooms, but have to note it could be worse… he could be wearing his jeans sagging halfway down past his underwear to appeal to the younger demographic. Or the male equivalent of Miley Cyrus? Like you, I won’t be using the advertised site.

  5. When I do watch TV I usually watch it on my computer sometimes a few days after the program was aired and for some reason the ads have been deleted; an hour show will run to about 40-42 minutes. I sometimes hook my computer up to my big TV and watch it there.

    I’m pretty forunate though; I prefer our ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corp) which is owned by the government/people and is commercial free. Untainted by rupert murdock, our Prime Minister Mr. tony abbott would dearly love to sell off this prize asset to murdock.

    I believe your ABC is a large commercial network.

    I agree entirely with you regarding the appearance of men and unfortunately it seems to be widespread: my youngest son is the manager of a large super market and goes to work with days old stubble, no tie and the only time he has his shoes cleaned and shined is when I do them for him.

    And he tells me that that’s the way things are done these days, he’s 33 and unconcerned and I feel shame. I never go near his store!

    • My son is an IT developer, and people in his business, nationwide, have adopted a very casual style. But it’s still neat. He can wear a nice Polo shirt with jeans, for example, to his office in downtown Denver. But everything fits nicely. He has a short beard, always neatly groomed. There’s casual, which I would welcome if I were still working, and then there’s sloppy and rumpled, which is not acceptable, period. Of course, at my age, my opinions about much of anything are probably considered old fashioned and out of touch — which is what I tended to think of my parents’ opinions when they were this age.

  6. I one of those who DVR’s everything and never watches commercials.

    And just so your ire isn’t in vain, I didn’t watch your linked video of this guy either.

    Because I don’t care what he’s selling.

  7. Some year ago I noted that some young males had adopted a style of wearing their pants so low that their underwear showed. Thankfully, that seems to have passed, or at least around where I live. But Trivago guy reminds me of that. No hips, long trunk, no belt. The only things holding the jeans up seem to be his shoes. I wonder what he’d look like if he had to sprint down the street?

    I have noticed that many girls and young women have adopted something similar. They are letting their bra or slip straps show, and sometimes part of the garment as well. Don’t like it.

    Like Ima, We are DVR’ers. Couldn’t live without that control. Occasionally there’s a commercial we want to see, such as a preview of new series coming up. I find I can locate those by fast-forwarding at x4. Best invention ever.

    • Underwear is called underwear for a reason. I couldn’t agree more that it is not supposed to show. The low hanging pants I’ve seen have almost always been on rappers, gang members, etc. Surely you remember “General” Larry Pratt, the 62-year-old black man who wrote the song ridiculing the style:

      • Wow, and here I thought I was cool with the culture, groovin’ and movin’ . Just can’t figure out how I missed “Pants on the Ground.” 😆

      • I’m probably being petty but I could not agree with you more regarding underwear not showing and the most annoying to me is the American male’s propensity to always wear the T-shirt/singlet with the neck showing, whenever you see the American male with an open neck shirt there across the neck is this usually spotlessly white T-shirt. I’ve always looked on this garment worn in this fashion as underwear and it makes me cringe.

        Okay; I may be idiotic, but that’s the effect that display of underwear has on me. 🙂

        • I’m resigned to being the older generation that’s always being taken aback by the excesses and styles of the younger generation, just as my parents were. Underwear showing, much as I dislike it, is pretty mild compared to the female celebrities who dispense with underwear altogether. Slits up to here or down to there, see-through clothing, etc. 😦

  8. I think it’s the styling more than anything. He needs a shave and a haircut (two bits), and a better fitting shirt buttoned up one more button.

  9. He looks greasy & dirty. You can see the sheen on his neck in the first ads. I expected to see dirt rings. YUCK! I don’t think I’d want to stay anywhere he would recommend.

  10. I like to see Mr. Wiillams any time I am fortunate to be watching TV and Trifago commercial comes on. I still think he would be a ‘great Christian Grey” in 50 shades. CC

  11. I was attracted to this man from the first time I saw him. I congratulated Trivago (in my mind) for having the guts to use him.The more they clean him up (except for the scruff) the less I like him. If I use a hotel advisor, I will use Trivago.Way to go!

    • It was a risky move on Trivago’s part, that’s for sure. And maybe all the talk it generated paid off. I don’t know. I was about to say I would never use a service or product just because I liked the guy in their commercials … but then I realized that I decided not to use Trivago because I don’t like their guy. Commercials are like that, I guess.

  12. I got ripped off by Travago. This company should be outlawed. Never deal with them! I think I have a case of “cognitive dissonance”: I hate Travago so I hate this guy.

    • Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with them. But I’ll admit this spokesman has never inspired my confidence in Trivago. I don’t know why they keep using him. Commercials are like that — you tend to form judgments about companies or products based on their commercials, and if that judgment happens to be negative, the commercial is worse than just a bad commercial. It’s an expensive mistake that loses customers and good will.

  13. I hate all the trivago ads. the guy talks too loud and is sickening. I would never stay at hotel.

  14. Most of these posts are just bewildering to me. The Trivago Guy caught my attention right away. Scruffy? He’s hot!

"Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance." ~ Plato

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