- Last minute hotel-booking app HotelTonight launched its first out-of-home campaign in New York City for the summer travel season, according to a statement made available to Mobile Marketer. The campaign is featured at more than 2,000 high-traffic locations, including train platforms, buses and an outdoor billboard overlooking the Lincoln Tunnel's westward entrance.
- HotelTonight ads will also be heard across radio, podcasts and streaming platforms in the New York region. The outdoor campaign, developed with creative agency Odysseus Arms and media buyer Blackwood Seven, includes calls to action encouraging people to book a last-minute stay in the city like “The city has to sleep sometime,” “What happens after the after party?” and “Procrastination isn’t a dirty word.”
- Ray Elias, former StubHub CMO before joining HotelTonight a year ago, is overseeing the campaign to build upon its partnerships with the New York Yankees, Madison Square Garden, AEG and Chelsea Football Club in England. The HotelTonight app has been downloaded more than 15 million times, according to MediaPost.
HotelTonight has distinguished itself as a mobile-first last-minute hotel reservation specialist since its launch in 2010. CMO Ray Elias is looking to emphasize how the service can unlock travel values for customers who have been trained into thinking that bundling an airline booking with a hotel is the best way to get a good deal.
As a scrappy startup, HotelTonight faces significant challenges to growth. It excels in mobile purchases and last-minute booking, but established companies like Priceline have created similar offerings that tap into the last-minute travel trend. Meanwhile, HotelTonight started to let users book up to a week in advance, which made the service less unique than other discount rivals.
The company is tiny compared with chief rivals like Expedia and Priceline, which both command more than $55 billion in gross bookings annually, according to Bloomberg News. In comparison, HotelTonight’s gross bookings hit $300 million last year. HotelTonight needs to boost its brand awareness in major urban areas, particularly New York if the company wants to go public in late 2017, which an initial public offering of stock that will depend on the marketing muscle of Wall Street banks.