Hotels.com takes on social media travel envy with Captain Obvious and Lil Jon

Captain Obvious continues to be a winning character for Hotels.com. His too-on-point observations are now on display in a campaign that tells people not to “hate-like” people’s travel posts and instead encourages them to book their own Insta-worthy trips. He gets some help from rapper Lil Jon along the way.

The ads play off the fact that people are always posting their vacation pictures on social media, making them look exotic and romantic. While you may tap ‘like,’ you’re secretly wishing them ill will for having a good time – the side-eye feeling when you know they’re just out for likes, but you tap it anyway.

For the first time, Hotels.com is giving this ubiquitous but unspoken behavior a name – the “hate-like.” In a new campaign, ‘Be there. Do that. Get Rewarded.,’ launching in the US and UK, Hotels.com pokes fun at the social truth and offers people a solution to their travel envy.

The spots feature Captain Obvious pointing out the painfully apparent reasons why you hate-like your friends’ vacation posts and remind you that Hotels.com can help you book brag-worthy trips of your own. In ‘Romance’ a woman in a bath tells her unseen significant other, after viewing a romantic beach photo, that romance isn’t dead. Pan out to see her husband on the toilet next to her, with Captain Obvious in the room as well, saying romance is dead there, so they should liven things up by booking their own trip.

Rapper and DJ Lil Jon is out on an envy-inducing vacation of his own in one of the spots, ‘My Dream,’ where he is part of a plane passenger to Omaha’s dream trip, zip lining through a tropical forest (Lil Jon is apparently a zip line enthusiast).

Mike Wolfe, senior director of global creative at Hotels.com, said: “Travel today happens on social media. From inspiration and research to #vacay posts, we get it – everyone is doing it for the ’gram. Rather than letting the hate-likes get you down, with Hotels.com you can 'be there and do that' yourself, and perhaps create a little travel envy of your own.”

The Hotels.com campaign, by CPB, will bring hate-like to life through partnerships with Comedy Central and the Bravo Housewives, plus social actions, content and experiences.

“It’s easy to sell people on the idea of a vacation, but harder to tap into the truth that’s keeping them from vacationing. We didn’t want to go the traditional route of vacation eye candy montages. So we tapped into something emotionally true, like how miserable it is to not be on vacation, especially when it feels like everyone in your social feed is on some amazing trip,” added Quinn Katherman, creative director, CPB.

See the spots by clicking on the Creative Works box below.

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