New Ads Show Anyone Can "Win" by Booking Travel Faster, Easier with Orbitz
Chicago, April 13, 2005 - TV game shows have captivated audiences for generations and are an enduring part of American pop culture as evidenced in our TV programming, motion pictures and even as a popular theme for TV commercials. Providing the latest example is Orbitz, the site that makes travel faster and easier, with new commercials debuting this week that feature a classic game show set and host to illustrate how viewers can "win" with Orbitz.
The new Orbitz TV ads include all the highly visual features of classic game shows - sliding doors, moving sets, flashing lights, vivid signage - plus studio audience applause. In the first of what will become a series of TV spots, two contestants - an everyday father, with his three children literally crawling all over him, and a computer expert - compete to book hotels online. Their challenge is to find a hotel in Hawaii on a golf course for under $100 per night, and the father - despite being very distracted - easily wins by using Orbitz.
"Using the classic game show format in our advertising demonstrates in a fun way how much easier and faster it is to use Orbitz to book travel" said Mitch Truwit, CEO and president of Orbitz. "With Orbitz, everyone can be a winner."
Keeping the ads true to the game show genre is the casting of Wink Martindale as host. One of the most prolific game show hosts ever, Martindale has hosted 19 separate game shows including Gambit, Tic-Tac-Dough and High Rollers. In a broadcasting career spanning nearly 40 years, Martindale is now a show creator/producer and currently hosts a daily, three-hour music radio show.
"I was thrilled when they asked me to host their commercial," said Wink Martindale, "particularly since I am an Orbitz customer."
Distinctly American, game shows have been ranked among the top-rated shows on TV throughout the latter half of the 20th century. An entire cable network, GSN, has been in existence for 10 years, and devotes more than 100 daytime and primetime hours a week to broadcasts of classic and current game shows. Game show parodies are a mainstay on late night comedy shows, and can even be seen in children's programming.
"Classic game shows are timeless because they entertain us and appeal to our competitive spirit," said Rich Cronin, president and CEO of GSN. "It's only natural that game shows would make their way into major advertising."
Examples of game show imagery in commercials can be seen in a series of recent crossovers of game show contestants, hosts and shows in the advertising world. After a run toward becoming an all-time game show champion, a recent winning contestant has subsequently been featured in commercials for leading cell phone and overnight delivery companies. Various sports TV networks have used both a veteran game show host and a spoof of a popular classic game show using athletes as contestants in recent advertisements.
The public's intrigue with classic game show contestants is revealed in a recent survey commissioned by Orbitz and conducted by Harris Interactive®. Many U.S. adults feel the number one skill for being a successful "classic" game show contestant is being knowledgeable in a wide variety of subjects (41%), followed by having the ability to think quickly (37%) and exhibiting confidence and poise under pressure (15%).
"Part of the fun in the Orbitz commercial is the 'presumed' winner, the individual with the skill and knowledge to win, loses, and the unexpected contestant actually wins," says Truwit. "Orbitz demonstrates how it is faster and easier to use than other travel services."
Harris Interactive® fielded the online survey on behalf of Orbitz between March 21 and 23, 2005 among a nationwide sample of 2,557 U.S. adults aged 18 and over. The data were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity and propensity to be online. In theory, with samples of this size, one could say with 95 percent certainty that the results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. This online sample is not a probability sample.
Orbitz is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and purchase a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, lodging, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Since launching its website, www.orbitz.com, to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz has become the third largest online travel site based on gross travel bookings. On Orbitz, consumers can search more than 455 airlines, tens of thousands of lodging properties worldwide and 22 car rental companies. Orbitz was acquired by Cendant's Travel Distribution Services division in November 2004, and is part of the Consumer Travel Americas group.
About Harris Interactive®
Harris Interactive Inc. (www.harrisinteractive.com), the 15th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, is a Rochester, N.Y.-based global research company that blends premier strategic consulting with innovative and efficient methods of investigation, analysis and application. Known for The Harris Poll® and for pioneering Internet-based research methods, Harris Interactive conducts proprietary and public research to help its clients achieve clear, material and enduring results.
Harris Interactive combines its intellectual capital, databases and technology to advance market leadership through U.S. offices and wholly owned subsidiaries: London-based HI Europe (www.hieurope.com), Paris-based Novatris (www.novatris.com), Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan, through newly acquired WirthlinWorldwide, a Reston, Virginia-based research and consultancy firm ranked 25th largest in the world, and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies.