Booking.yeah website doesn’t exist. If you try to go to https://www.booking.yeah, it will show a “This site can’t be reached” error page.
So why would a brand with $17 Billion in revenue make such a huge error in one of their most iconic campaigns?
PS: There are no points for guessing the name of the brand. Its right there in the name.
The “Booking.yeah” brand campaign by Booking.com was launched in 2013 and was the company’s first major brand advertising campaign. The main message of this campaign was to underscore the thrill and satisfaction of booking the perfect accommodation. The ads emphasized the exhilaration travelers feel when they secure their ideal place, using humor and the tagline “Booking.yeah” to convey this emotion.
The “Booking.yeah” campaign in essence
Objective: The main aim of the “Booking.yeah” campaign was to highlight the emotional payoff and sheer delight travelers feel when they’ve booked the perfect accommodation for their trip. The campaign intended to underscore Booking.com’s role in facilitating these perfect moments.
Tagline: The “Booking.yeah” tagline played with the brand name to create a memorable and catchy phrase that encapsulates that moment of triumph and satisfaction. The “.yeah” cleverly alluded to domain names (like .com, .org) but twisted it to express excitement.
Creative Execution: The advertisements used humor, dramatizing travelers’ reactions when they first see their accommodations. This ranged from a man joyously sliding on his hotel room’s wooden floor in socks to families excitedly exploring their vacation homes. The scenarios aimed to be relatable, showing genuine reactions people might have when their booking meets or exceeds expectations.
Media Channels: The campaign was rolled out across various media channels, including television, cinema, and digital platforms. Given its broad reach, “Booking.yeah” helped boost the brand’s recognition substantially.
Outcome: The “Booking.yeah” campaign was well-received for its humor and relatability. It effectively communicated the brand’s promise and established Booking.com as not just a platform for booking accommodations but as an enabler of memorable travel experiences.
In essence, the “Booking.yeah” campaign was about celebrating the moment of joy and satisfaction travelers feel when they find the perfect place to stay, emphasizing Booking.com’s role in making that moment happen.
Campaigns other than Booking.yeah
Booking.com has run numerous ad campaigns over the years. Here are some notable Booking.com campaigns leading up to and following the “Booking.yeah” initiative:
“Booking Hero” (before “Booking.yeah”): This campaign celebrated the behind-the-scenes heroes at accommodations who ensure travelers have unforgettable experiences.
“Booking.yeah” (2013): As described, it emphasized the satisfaction of securing the perfect booking with humor and a memorable tagline.
“Wing It” (2016): This campaign encouraged spontaneous travel. It targeted millennials, emphasizing that they didn’t always need a plan and could “wing it” with Booking.com.
“Book the U.S.” (2018): This was a unique campaign where Booking.com offered stays at famous landmarks in the U.S., like the Empire State Building.
“Live Curious” (2019): This campaign urged people to embrace their curiosity and discover the world. It focused on the experiences and emotions that travel can evoke.
Importance of "Booking.yeah" campaign
The “Booking.yeah” campaign by Booking.com, launched around 2013, marked the company’s first significant foray into brand advertising. Before the “Booking.yeah” campaign, Booking.com primarily relied on performance-based advertising methods. Performance-based advertising means that advertisers only pay when a specific action is completed, such as a click, view, or booking. Some of the performance-based advertising methods used by Booking.com:
Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising: Booking.com has been a significant player in PPC advertising, especially on platforms like Google AdWords. In PPC, advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked. It’s essentially a way of buying visits to your site rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically.
Affiliate Marketing: Booking.com has a robust affiliate program. Websites, bloggers, and influencers can promote Booking.com on their platforms and earn a commission for every booking made through their referral.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM): This includes efforts like PPC but also encompasses other strategies to ensure Booking.com listings appear prominently when users search for accommodations or travel-related queries.
Retargeting/Remarketing: Booking.com has used retargeting ads to re-engage users who’ve visited their site but didn’t complete a booking. These ads remind users of their previous searches or viewed properties, nudging them to return and finalize their booking.
Display Advertising: While some display ads are paid for by impressions (CPM), many are performance-based where advertisers pay for specific actions, like clicks or conversions. Booking.com has used display ads across various websites and platforms to drive traffic and bookings.
Metasearch Engines and Aggregators: Booking.com has listings on travel metasearch engines like Kayak, Skyscanner, and Trivago. Here, users can compare prices, and Booking.com pays on a per-click or per-acquisition basis.
These methods helped Booking.com grow rapidly and establish a significant online presence. The shift to brand advertising with campaigns like “Booking.yeah” was a way to further solidify their position in the market and create a stronger emotional connection with their audience.
Why Booking.com has not bought Booking.yeah domain?
In 2013, the “Booking.yeah” slogan was used as a catchy tagline for Booking.com’s advertising campaign, but it was never a functional website or separate domain. This brings up a few questions:
- Was Booking.com not buying the Booking.yeah domain a major marketing blunder?
- Does it mean there was little to no cross-functional interaction in major decision-making?
- Has no one told this to Booking.com even after a decade (Booking.yeah campaign is still being run in 2023)?
- Even if they didn’t realize their mistake in 2013, by 2023 they should have bought “www.booking.yeah” right?
The answer is they can’t. Even if they want to they can’t. And no, it’s not a case of someone parking the domain and Booking.com is unwilling to pay the asking amount. They just can’t because the domain “.yeah” doesn’t exist.
Yes! “.yeah” top-level domain (TLD) doesn’t exist, nor will it in the near future.
In the past, there were only 22 top-level domains (TLDs) or domain extensions in use, such as .com, .net, and .org. The ICANN organization realized that there was a dwindling supply of ideal TLDs and sought to remedy that by adding new domain extensions.
This provided companies and individuals with better or more creative ways to create a domain that is helpful for their website. Now 300+ new TLDs are already live and available, but “.yeah” is still not live/available (check the available TLDs here).
So Booking.com cannot buy the “Booking.yeah” domain, even if they want to. The “Booking.yeah” slogan was used as a catchy tagline for Booking.com’s advertising campaign, but it was never supposed to be a functional website or separate domain.
The play on words was meant to evoke the excitement and satisfaction of securing the perfect booking, using the “.yeah” to mimic internet domain suffixes like “.com” or “.org.” It was a creative way to make the brand memorable and pretty sure it worked.