The role of a spokesperson can make or break a company. And in the case of the Trivago Guy, Tim Williams, his schedule and wardrobe decisions in his first ad with the German online travel agency launched him into overnight stardom.
“Most days as an actor you shoot a commercial you jump in you jump out,” the Houston, Texas native said. “With this one no one expected the success.”
When the company aired its first U.S. spot in 2012 featuring the Trivago Guy Twitter, the internet noticed the disheveled spokesman. Trivago’s PR representative contacted Williams, who was shocked by the news. “I was like I’m trending? What does that mean I’m trending? Are people wearing my clothes?”
The first commercial sparked imitations, a fake twitter account along with many tweets and comments. The reactions, calling him everything from sexy to creepy, stemmed from a unshaven Williams who donned a rumpled shirt and pants without a belt in the first commercial.
Williams was starring on German soap opera Gute Zeiten Schlechte Zeiten at the time. He says his rough appearance was tied to his American rock star character on the show. And the choice for no belt? That he says was a happy accident. “Unfortunately none of the belts fit the belt loops that I had on,” Williams said. “I think that was probably the best break we could have gotten.”
That break seemingly has paid off. According to Trivago, the U.S. is now its single largest revenue generating market. And the Trivago Guy formula was so successful there are now French and Spanish Trivago Guys. They are doing the same pointing and touching that Williams inspired.
As for what’s next for the original Trivago Guy? “We have a lot of new things coming up,” he said. “I can’t go into too much detail about it but let me tell you it is easy to get into that mode.”
So whether you love him or hate it doesn’t seem Williams will be leaving your screen anytime soon.