Music star Richard Marx fronts newly launched HotelsCombined campaign via CHE Proximity

Screen Shot 2016-12-09 at 2.27.18 PM.jpgSoft-rock star Richard Marx is back performing his memorable hit 'Right Here Waiting' in a new TV commercial filmed in Australia for HotelsCombined, the world's leading hotel price comparison platform. The commercial, created by CHE Proximity, will launch across TV screens on 11 December.

'Right Here Waiting' topped charts around the world when it was released in 1989, reached platinum sales, and is Marx's most frequently covered song.

Unknown to any locals, Marx was in Australia last month with his wife Daisy Fuentes specifically for the three-day shoot, which took place in a studio, sports oval and offices.

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The brainchild of creative and media agency CHE Proximity, the TV commercial features Marx crooning 'Right Here Waiting' at the piano, with HotelsCombined's mascot Max atop the piano describing the HotelsCombined price comparison process.

The TV commercial leads a new campaign for HotelsCombined, comprising a series of 30- and 15-second spots across free-to-air and subscription television, with Marx and Max in various scenes, from a piano, to an office, to bedroom, and bus stop. These will be carried through to social media on YouTube and Facebook, with Marx and Max filmed against a variety of backdrops, retaining HotelsCombined's tagline 'The best hotel deals. Guaranteed'.

Says Marx: "HotelsCombined is a well-recognised global brand that I am proud to partner with in its new campaign. The shoot was enormous fun, and the first time I've performed at a piano with a mascot like Max to deliver humour! Daisy and I always love coming back to Australia. It was my fifteenth visit to this beautiful country - and my second visit this year alone after my June Australian tour."

Says Chris Rivett, head of marketing AU/NZ at HotelsCombined: "Booking travel online can often be a frustrating process requiring a lot of time, research and anxiety from users around whether they've booked the best deal. The campaign aims to communicate that HotelsCombined simplifies the booking process by comparing all the top travel sites in one simple search, and that we're confident enough in our product to also offer our users a best price guarantee.   

"We had been saying for some time that the best hotel deals were Right Here Waiting For You so the Max-Marx partnership was perfect to demonstrate what our brand does best. We want Australians to know who HotelsCombined are, and that we're right here waiting to help them get the best deal on their hotel.

Both the creative and media placement was managed by CHE Proximity.

HotelsCombined Head of Marketing: Chris Rivett
Agency: CHE Proximity
Chief Executive Officer: Chris Howatson
Executive Creative Director: Ant White
Creative Directors: Brian Jefferson + Ben Stainlay
Creative teams: Cameron McDonald + George Organ, Chris Stewart + Cameron Brown
Planning: James Needham, Nathan Rogers
Director of Experience (Media): Elizabeth Geor
Media Strategy: Olivia Scott, Hannah Garcia, Hanna Scott 

Media Investment: Daniel Bradley, Cam Dinnie, Christina Webb, Elizabeth Lonsdale, Elliot Tindale
Data: James Greaney, Stuart Dennon
Head of Broadcast Production: Di Nash
Account Services: Daniel Deutsch, Nicola Lloyd, Adam Kotecki
Production Company: Finch
Director: Alex Roberts
Post Production: Arc + White Chocolate
Sound: Nylon Studio
Animatronic Character Production: Odd Studio
Puppeteer: Matt McCoy

38 Comments

Dude said:

*braces for comments*

... said:

That is horrendous! When you have to explain who your spokes person is did you really need to use one? Maybe save your celebrity endorsement $$$ next time and spend them on some decent creative.

PSH said:

Lots of hard work and great planning really can create great, funny, unique work. It can also create utter nonsensical garbage. Also, isn't hotels.com the biggest hotel booking company in the world? Jussayin

Catchy said:

Nice. Can't get that bloody song out of my head now!

?!? said:

I don't get it. I've watched it twice and still don't follow. Is "Right here waiting for you" meant to be a benefit? Go and try another site, airbnb, kayak, hotels.com etc and if you haven't found anything, we'll be here. If only there was a soft rock song titled "we'll be here as a last resort"

CHE MD said:

"Thanks for all making it to the Christmas party, I'd just like to say how proud I am that we haven't put anything on the blog this year that's going to embar..."

Wow said:

First the who gives a crap spot and now this.
CHE is killing it

Early Bird said:

Oh dear, not Finch's finest hour.

Yikes said:

Not like Finch to take on a job like this. Production looks pretty ok. Pretty ordinary execution/strategy.

Required said:

I like it. It's like someone said, 'what if 2007 Family Guy was an ad?" It's got eveything I like in a commercial - talking animals and obscure pop culture references.

Having said that I would rather watch a 2007 Family Guy episode because it takes me back to that summer I went to Byron Bay and found myself (hint: I was behind the couch).

Awks said:

What an awkward moment it must have been when, after the excitement of shelling out big $$$$$$$ for a "celebrity", it's realised that nobody recognises him (and nobody under 30's heard of him). Cue insert of hotels.com mascot to, not only tell us who the celebrity is - but to ram it home with a photo of what he's supposed to look like.

PartyParrot said:

I love it!

Jasper said:


"The brainchild of creative and media agency CHE Proximity..."

Noted.

@ dude said:

that's funny, that's what I was thinking too.

Missed the Marx said:

Where's the insight? The humour? This is planning and creative not working together to create something truly awful.

hmmm said:

So you spent 22 seconds of a 30 second ad trying to explain what the other 8 seconds were about and who was starring in them. Ordinary, very ordinary. Screams of lack of insight and creativity.

Expedia Boss said:

Try the competitor sites first - and wait for the scraps left over if the likes of Expedia et al can't close the deal. Sounds good to us!

Lucinda Brightsparkle said:

2nd tier agency does 2nd tier ad with 2nd tier celebrity for 2nd tier client.

Dick Marks said:

Oh dear! what are those stains in my undies?

Sorry said:

I think it's sad that people have to be so negative. This is a great piece of work and a great piece of strategy. I'm proud of it and I don't think it deserves all this criticism.

Some Advice said:

Ok, so some middle aged executive got dazzled by Richard Marx and the tortured logic of using the song title. But what's done is done. Let me offer some constructive advice:

Get the agency to cut out that truly awful scene where the bear uses the photograph to explain who the hell the talent is. This is akin to a stand-up comedian having to pause on stage to explain a joke that didn't go over.

Before it's too late, you need to delete this scene and just own the joke. The ad will be much improved this way. Enough people will get who Richard Marx is, if not on first viewing then later. And for those who don't, well, the concept still works as well as it was ever going to, regardless.

Do it immediately before it's too late and ask the agency to do it for nix. They owe you that at least.

... said:

nope. not good.

@sorry said:

Stop drinking the CHE cool aid and wake up.

If you're proud of this creatively or strategically then you need to try a different career.

yep said:

horrible idea

@@sorry said:


"I'm proud of it and I don't think it deserves all this criticism."

Not proud enough to attach my name to the post though... I wouldn't either.

Richard Marxist said:

“Right Here Waiting” is about a guy who screwed up a relationship and lost it forever. Perfect choice for a company who’s telling its customers to “see other people.”

@@sorry said:

Sarcasm doesn't always come through in the written form. There was a hint, but you missed it. Look again.

Kamahl said:

Why are people so unkind?

This is a wonderful commercial. I am available for the next instalment at a good price. I am well known and very funny. Perhaps your creative teams could work something around my wonderful 70's hit "The Elephant Song"?

Robert said:

You've lost that loving feeling.

Get back to your DM pieces CHEP said:

First that Latitude tripe with Alec Baldwin and now this.

CHEP, Campaign Brief AOTY is surely yours.

Really though said:

It's not good work and that's fine. Just don't promote it on blogs like this where it's held to some degree of creative standard. If it's just shite work that you were forced to make or a junior team got up then leave it at that and move on. You only enrage the ad gods when you offer up sacrifices like this.

mr question marc said:

how could it possibly take so many people to produce this commercial? and why was it a good idea to be credited? WHY?

Witty said:

What I get from this ad? A bunch of overpaid poseurs putting out any old drivel for an established brand that people will continue to use anyway. And I know you know who I am, scum!!!!

David said:

This is genuinely bad work. On all the levels that you would judge the work. Creatively really bad. The production is way more expensive than it needs to be - why pay for RM when no-one knows who he is?
Why let the creative agency buy their own media...seriously why has no-one picked up on a dm agency buying their own tv?
ROI wise this will be a joke. CHE are an average agency.

Confused mum said:

I have seen this add repeatedly, hubby and I love the song, but seriously, what was the company thinking, what demographics did this appeal to ???
We are middle aged and really don't get why the husband in bed with his wife is flirting with RM or the Bear.
I didn't think it was possible to make a bear creepy, this Bear comes across to us and our teenage daughter as creepy...... sleazy creepy...... I am at a loss, we mute the TV when the add is playing because we can't handle the song being associated with something so weird.
PLEASE REMOVE THIS ADD

Wen said:

Love it, nice work

Jarkei said:

So many negative comments. People in glass houses shouldn't throw pianos. I'd like to see all these whingers have a go at making an ad.
And its clever advertising..it works..that song is always on my mind now and is associated with the company. Does anyone remember that hideous " WHERE DO YOU GET IT?" Ads from decades ago..i sure do because it was bloody horrible..but its still remembered even today. Well done CHE.

starscollege said:

“proper right here waiting” is about a man who screwed up a courting and lost it forever. best choice for a organisation who’s telling its clients to “see different humans.”

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