You expect me to feel bad about just 20-50 negative comments: Abhinav Kumar a.k.a Trivago Guy

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Abhinav Kumar popularly known as Trivago Guy shares his experience of doing Trivago commercials, being camera shy and dealing with trolls.

Trivago India is back with their second ad featuring the Trivago guy aka Abhinav Kumar and the internet seems to be having a ball with it again.

Twitteratis are highly amused with the Indian Trivago man; they find his diction ‘irritating’ and ‘weird’ and have made fun of it on the internet. There are several memes about him and hashtags especially used for trolling him. The flak has, in fact, helped Trivago India ads grab eyeballs and made Kumar an internet sensation.

For the uninitiated, Kumar is the Country Development Manager for Trivago India and is based out of Dusseldorf, Germany.

In conversation with Social Samosa, Kumar shares his experience of doing Trivago India commercials, the hesitation of appearing in front of the camera, and how it feels to see people mocking him. Kumar also talks about the social media strategy of his company and other exciting things. Read below…

What is the relevance of social media to you as a person and as a Country Development Manager for Trivago?

We in Trivago follow the simple philosophy of “power of proof” and we believe in spending in the right places and where we can measure the effects clearly. Social media does create a lot of buzz and it is equally important as any other marketing channel. So, we do invest in multiple web/social portals for reaching new users.

You are a popular face on the internet and there are several memes about you. How does it feel to be one?

It’s funny to see all the different memes floating around on the internet, but I also have my usual work as a country manager and my time doesn’t permit to constantly track all of them.

Which social media platform are you most active on? What is the kind of posts or news, which you like to share with your friends and followers?

I am active on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But you are most likely to get a personal reply from me over Twitter.

You are trolled quite often. How frequently do you reply to them?

I try to reply to most of them, but I’m sure you can imagine the workload I have as the County Manager, so I’m not able to do it all the time.

How has been your overall experience of appearing in front of the camera for Trivago commercials? Was there any initial hesitation?

Here at Trivago, you learn something new every day, and I also consider this as a new field of study so I can grow and gain more knowledge. I am generally a shy guy, so I was hesitant in the beginning, but as you know these ads are not live takes, so you do get a chance to correct yourself and learn more tricks of the trade.

On all the social media platforms, there are a lot of negative comments where people have mocked your diction and acting capabilities. Has it let you down or you took in a positive way and emerged as a better actor?

This is normal; we have become a complaining bunch for any but the right things.

People are different in the way they talk or way they look, so I may sound different or look different than everyone you have seen till now. We have around 300 million internet users; do you really expect me to feel bad about just 20-50 negative comments?

When all the other brands, are running after celebrities to endorse their brands, Trivago chose to have a common face as a brand ambassador. Has this strategy helped in creating a better brand recall?

Trivago generally avoids casting big celebrities as they already carry a lot of other branding with them and we believe it will confuse the users.

Trivago is a simple tool to search and compare hotels and anyone can use it, so we don’t require superpower to market it. As you can see we are talking about the Trivago commercials, so it seems to be working without me being a celebrity”.

With this kind of advertising, who does Trivago ideally, want to target?

The Indian Internet population has been growing very heavily within last 1 year, and there are many new users, many of which will have access to Internet for the first time. We want to reach each and every person who has any access to the internet. So, our communication has to be simple and easy to understand.

How is the latest commercial featuring you, different from the company’s previous one? (In terms of the brand’s messaging & also your role)

Some of the ads are a continuation of the last story, and others are telling new stories about the different filters, product features, and tricks we have available to find the ideal hotel.

How strong is Trivago India on the digital platforms? How is social media placed in the overall marketing mix of the brand?

We are an Internet company so we have a very balanced mix of both online and offline activities. Social media is very much a part of the strategy. We focus on social media through DEA, Content Marketing and it is used as a user support tool and soon to be a customer service chat bot via Facebook messenger.

What is the first thing which brands need to do on social media in case of a sudden crisis?

I am not sure if I can talk on behalf of everyone, and these crises can also be different from company to company and even case by case. As for me wherever I can, I chose to engage with the issue personally instead of avoiding or ignoring it.

Abhinav Kumar will go Live with Social Samosa, this Friday, August 18 at 3 PM sharing his exciting journey of becoming an internet sensation.

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