Kayak.com, a meta-search travel platform created by the co-founders of Travelocity, Orbitz and Expedia, debuts a $10 million television ad campaign -- its maiden broadcast effort.

Why would an online property that is ranked in the top 25 travel sites and is popular with early adopters advertise on TV? The answer may surprise.

"TV is now cheaper than some online channels of advertising," said Dean Harris, chief marketing officer at Kayak, Norwalk, CT. "We are also hoping to tap into a larger, more mainstream audience. And in my experience, TV is still the most efficient way to launch a brand into a household name."

Mr. Harris came to Kayak four months ago from Internet telephone firm Vonage. He is Kayak's first and only marketing employee.

The campaign, tagged "Life's a Trip," includes 13 15- to 30-second trip ideas, all of which poke fun at contemporary pop culture. The ads are anything but reverent.

For example, "Trip Idea #39" -- a hunting trip ad -- includes an animated Dick Cheney shooting. Trip Idea #96 encourages travelers to visit national glaciers before they turn into water parks, thus the tourist penguins in sunglasses and bathing suits.

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