“To be clear, we have never been accused of being flashy, sexy, or lit,” says Idris Elba, in what normally would be a bald-faced lie. However, the 2018 PEOPLE magazine Sexiest Man Alive wasn’t talking specifically about himself, but for Booking.com. Idris, 49, was picked as the new spokesperson for the digital travel leader, and in Booking.com’s commercial for Super Bowl LVI, he goes on to play up how the service has never really been cool. “Seriously, we named ourselves ‘Booking Dot Com’ which is kinda lit, if we’re talking literal. But, it’s who we are.” In the end, Idris said that Booking.com is perfect at getting someone the dream vacation they’ve always wanted, but “kinda [bleep] at naming.”
The extended version sees Idris do more of his charm and his natural sexiness. Watching it makes you wonder why he’s not the spokesperson for more things, but it turns out that selling is something that doesn’t come naturally. Now, you would think that Idris would never need help with anything. The Luther star radiates confidence and comes off like he could do anything with ease and grace. Yet, in previews for Booking.com’s Super Bowl LVI commercial, Idris needed a bit of a pep talk before filming the spot. So, who better to consult than two icons of the advertising game: Jonathan Goldsmith, aka Dos Equis’ “The Most Interesting Man In The World;” and Old’s Spices’ “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” Isaiah Mustafa. Unfortunately, Idris’s attempt to pick these legends’ brains goes south quickly.
“Are you going to be wearing a shirt?” asks Jonathan, asking the question that many of Idris’s thirsty fans are probably wondering. “Are there going to be any singing animals?” asks Isiah, who also wonders if the commercial will include “fiery explosions” and “cars driving in, with people jumping out, maybe paragliding?” Idris, quickly realizing that these gentlemen might have confused this Booking.com spot for the next Fast & Furious film, finds himself frustrated at the end. However, things are much better in the second preview.
In the second teaser, Idris practices saying his catchphrase — “Booking.yeah” – in front of Jonathan and Isaiah. The two veterans aren’t impressed with Idris’s first attempt (“Seven,” rates Jonathan, while Isaiah gives it a “Six.”) However, once Idris goes down into the lower registers of his voice, he finds gold. “Stop. You’re giving me tingles,” says Mustafa. “I got a little tingle!” adds Goldsmith.
“We take our business very seriously, but not ourselves, and that’s also something you will see in the campaign,” said Arjan Dijk, Booking.com’s SVP and chief marketing officer,” told Adweek. “We probably all agree that the past couple of years haven’t been the easiest for most people in many aspects. So we really want to remind people of travel and how you can do that very easily with Booking.com.”
The commercial comes via Booking.com’s in-house creative staff and Los Angeles-based consultancy and agency partner Horses & Mules. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into its third year, travelers are anxious to see parts of the world and get away from their apartments and homes. Booking.com hopes to show that its platform is the “reliable, simple, helpful, choice for booking a trip so that travelers can have peace of mind” when booking their next vacation.