Gnome Is Where the Heart Is
Travelocity woos users with a lawn ornament.
Lastly: At one point the gnome, in his cheery way, says that hot tubs might send bubbles "up one's woopsedaisy." I guess that's a cute little euphemism. But good heavens, must I be forced to consider the existence of the gnome's plaster anus? Is this what we've come to now? Will I soon be made to know that the Doughboy has pale and doughy genitalia? And what of Yao Ming? Where does it stop?
Grade: B-. I like the strategic thinking here. And Travelocity needed a kick in its woopsedaisy. But I fear that the gnome has limited staying power. (He doesn't even appear on the Travelocity home page, suggesting a certain lack of commitment.) Time, and of course market share, will eventually tell.
Seth Stevenson is a frequent contributor to Slate. He is the author of Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World.