Why do we love him? He makes us laugh. Obviously.
“Thanks, Captain Obvious!” What was once a disparaging nickname for a dim bulb who insists on stating the self-evident has been adopted and adapted by Hotels.com into a droll, absurd, killer campaign that succeeds in large part thanks to the living, breathing, embarrassment-proof pitchman brought to life by Brandon Moynihan. Whether he’s telling us what is readily apparent (“The best way to enjoy the hotel view is to look at it.”) or coining new words to describe the benefits of the Hotels.com app (“easiery,” “rewardier”), Moynihan is both obvious and delightfully oblivious, with pitch-perfect comic timing.
As the Captain, he ran for President, campaigning with unique ads for all 50 states (“Visiting the great state of New York has been extremely educational. I’ve learned many new words, like %#$&@, $?%&#, !@#$%, bodega, and &$%#!”). He also took the ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge, creating a bucket made of ice (natch) filled with a $2,000 donation to support ALS research and also nominating Flo from Progressive and the Trivago Guy—“to help him cool off, because so many of you think he’s so hot.”
Moynihan is hot in his own way, of course, given that the ability to make someone laugh is generally considered to be the sexiest quality you can possess.
How many Hotels.com Captain Obvious commercials have you been in?
I don’t know that I can come up with a number. We’ve done an amazing amount of content over the past three years. I would say more than ten, less than a thousand.
Which is your favorite?
I love them all for different reasons but if pressed I’d probably have to say “Obvious Eyes.” It was the first commercial we shot so it’s special to me for that reason. I also think it was very clever and a bit of a risk for a spokesperson to admit that he didn’t need the product he’s endorsing right now.
Are you recognized in public?
I get recognized more and more especially in airports. I think it’s the beard. I’m also very popular at my kids’ elementary school. Picking them up and dropping them off are definitely my red carpet moments.
Any memorable fan reactions or experiences?
I was in Atlanta shooting the “Shaqtin’ A Fool” show with Shaq and after the shoot he invited a group of us to TNT Studios to watch the taping of the halftime show. I walked in and was in total awe of these basketball legends. It blew my mind that they were genuinely excited to meet me as well. Isiah Thomas was actually quoting the “Obvious Eyes” commercial. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
What’s the best thing about being Captain Obvious?
Getting the opportunity to work with so many amazing people and definitely the time I get to spend with my wife and kids. I have three young kids and being able to spend so much time with them is priceless. I was born to be a dad. It’s my most important role.
Is there any downside?
Definitely the time I get to spend with my wife and kids. Just kidding. Being Captain Obvious is an absolute honor and a pleasure. I’m an incredibly fortunate person to have such a fun job. Obviously, no downside.
Do you ever get special treatment when you check into a hotel?
Never, but not for lack of trying.
What’s the biggest difference between you and Captain Obvious?
I’m pretty much bald. Captain Obvious has a full head of thick confident hair. He definitely has better posture as well.
Are there any perks to being Captain Obvious? Free hotel room upgrades? Free room service?
Too many perks to name. The biggest one is working for such an amazing company. I think the success of this campaign has as much to do with the mindset and the progressive culture of Hotels.com as anything. Hotels.com has a great self-awareness and they’re not afraid to push the envelope with the crazy stuff I get to do as Captain Obvious. That’s definitely a perk.
Who’s your favorite brand spokesperson?
I think Stephanie Courtney does a really great job with Flo.
Where else can we see you?
Hopefully, home with the family.