TripAdvisor is considering a "multi-year brand marketing investment, including a return to TV advertising," the company said in prepared remarks accompanying its most recent financial earnings report.
"At a high level, we believe a brand marketing investment would enable us to reach a broad audience and could help to accelerate the user perception shift to TripAdvisor as a place to price compare and book," TripAdvisor said. "Size, scope, timing, and ROI of such investment are currently under consideration. We will provide our updated thoughts ... in due course."
On a call with analysts, president and CEO Stephen Kaufer further addressed the campaign's potential content and timing, noting that it would focus on TripAdvisor's "core hotel shopping experience."
Kaufer also added that other TripAdvisor brands might execute some independent marketing campaigns -- like a TV ad for thefork, TripAdvisor's restaurant app, in Italy -- so the main TripAdvisor campaign currently under consideration might not be the only one audiences see from the company's brands this year.
If the company does decide to execute a marketing campaign, it likely won't begin spending on it in the first quarter.
"We want to make sure that our message is resonating with consumers, and we will be evaluating the scope and timing," Kaufer said. "So, you know, to be clear, we're in evaluation mode. So that tells you we're serious about it, but we won't be spending in Q1, and we'll give you an update as we move forward with that decision process."
During the call, Kaufer also addressed an analyst's question on his thoughts on the Priceline Group's recent announcement to acquire Momondo Group, which operates European travel metasearch engine Momondo and flight-comparison site Cheapflights. Momondo Group will operate under Priceline's metasearch engine, Kayak.
"Personally, I thought it was probably a pretty good move for them," Kaufer said. "Consolidation continues in this space. I think it gives Kayak a growth footprint outside of the U.S., which just makes them more of a global player, and that will help fuel downstream demand. In terms of our flights business, I'd be surprised if there ended up being a meaningful impact one way or another."
TripAdvisor reported a 67% year-over-year decrease in net income from $3 million to $1 million in the fourth quarter. For the full year 2016, the company saw a 39% decrease in net income from $198 million to $120 million.
Revenue in the fourth quarter saw a 2% year-over-year increase from $309 million to $316 million, while TripAdvisor's income in 2016 saw a 1% decrease from 2015, from $1.492 million to $1.480 million.
TripAdvisor said the decreases were largely attributed to headwinds from its rollout of instant booking throughout 2016, "muting revenue growth and significantly impacting profitability."