If the image above is confusing, it’s simply reflective of a confusing situation, for which I have no explanation — and, oddly enough, I don’t mean that sarcastically, I literally don’t know what’s going on as there is no information online and the one lead I had did not reply to my queries. The new hotels.com logo on the upper-left corner of the After section was first leaked at trademork.com back in early February when the Expedia, Inc.-owned reservation service filed a trademark registry with the United States Patent and Trademark Office; shortly after, it appeared in a TV commercial; and only this past week the logo was reflected in the hotels.com web site, with no fanfare whatsoever — the logo was designed by TBWA \ Chiat \ Day (they won the account back in November of last year) in collaboration with outside design firms (names withheld so as not to upset anyone). This logo looks to be in representation of the U.S. market, while the other, chipper, scriptier logo has been designed for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) markets and can be seen at the EMEA version of hotels.com. So, there you have it, two new logos replacing one logo — which is not all that strange, you’ll remember Sunglass Hut had a European logo that later teletransported to this side of the swamp. However, there is no word on what happened to Benny the Bellman, the perennially content mascot of hotels.com, that has carried its customers bags since his introduction in the late 90s — when it was renamed from its original Hotel Reservations Network. It’s hard to assess his disappearance, as I would think he was pretty recognizable, but maybe he represented some sort of social class distinction that became politically incorrect, I don’t know. The new logos are okay: The scripty logo is pretty and happy, maybe too playful; and the elevator logo is an interesting idea, but I don’t think it’s well executed or that it makes for an interesting visual. I won’t miss Benny, but I will always wonder about his fate… maybe he now restfully sleeps with the fishes.
Plans are in development for coming back to Europe in Spring of 2018 with the current top contender host city of Barcelona.