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The Mix

Trivago spokesman to undergo ‘celebrity’ makeover Add to ...

The unkempt Trivago spokesman has become an unexpected celebrity. A polarizing figure, some hate his unbuttoned shirt and creepy vibe, while others find his scruffy mien and deep cooing voice inexplicably sexy.

One thing is certain: He has landed the German travel company – in which Expedia Inc. has a controlling stake – plenty of free publicity. The brand has endeavoured to respond with good humour, launching a contest this month inviting people to give Trivago Guy a makeover.

Contestants could submit proposed outfits by posting photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, for a chance to win a trip to Berlin and a visit to the shoot of the next commercial.

The public vote to pick the winning outfit begins on the brand’s Facebook page today.

For some, it can’t come too soon. Even after the contest began, people continued to write negative comments on Trivago’s Facebook page. “I purposely will not do business with this company because I’m so sick and tired of watching this stupid commercial over and over again,” one person wrote.

“I will never use this site because I am so sick of the constant constant repetitive repetitive ads,” another commenter said.

Proof is in the pasta

Bissell has given new meaning to the phrase: “So clean you could eat off it,” in its newest ad.

The brand took its Symphony floor cleaner, which acts as both a vacuum and steamer, to a typically filthy-looking subway station in Toronto to give it the ultimate test.

In the video, Ravi Dalchand, senior brand manager for Bissell Canada, cleans a square of floor in the station, and then proceeds to eat off it.

He dumps a container of pasta on the cleaned section, tucks a napkin in his shirt, and digs in – to the visible disgust of nearby passengers waiting for their train. Just as he would off a gleaming plate, he sops up some sauce with a hunk of bread.

However, the supposedly authentic look of the ad is at least partly staged. It was not filmed during a real commute, but at the unused Bay Lower station on Toronto’s subway line. The onlookers were extras, paid to be in the spot. They were told they were filming a scene of a crowd waiting for a train, and were not told what would come next. Their reactions – at least those captured in the first take, when it was a surprise – are semi-genuine, but they are aware that this is a performance being filmed.

Many advertisers have been staging real stunts in recent years, to prove their products’ appeal or otherwise get noticed. That raises the question: Will consumers be convinced by Bissell’s simulated reality?

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