Pepijn Rijvers isn’t a “mad man” — or one of the slick, nattily suited advertising salesmen from the TV series Mad Men. “We’re fairly rational in how we invest,” said Rijvers, the chief marketing officer of, when he spoke on April 26 in Berlin at Skift Forum Europe.

Pepijn Rijvers acknowledged that an increase in brand marketing is part of’s mix. But he said he found brand marketing to have limited usefulness relative to other options.

“We’re not an aspirational brand. We’re very functional.” “If brand marketing were the only avenue toward sourcing new demand, then yes,” Rijvers said.

“But luckily there are other ways.” Travel suppliers, such as Airbnb, Trivago, and major hotel chains, spend proportionally more than has on branding, such as with TV commercials. The intention is to build recognition among consumers.

The hoped-for payoff is to either boost the chances a consumer will click on a paid ad or encourage a consumer to book any repeat stay directly and avoid additional marketing cost. In May, Glenn Fogel, CEO of parent company Booking Holdings, said that his plan was to spend a bit more on brand marketing, particularly on TV. Read more from…

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