Thursday, August 25

Rental Car Rivalry

As a marketer, I love watching rival brands slug it out in the marketplace.  It sets the stage for great creativity and innovation.  Here on of my colleagues at the agency observes rivalry in the rental car business, and gets a little entertainment from it.  What's your experience, Jessica? 
I think every New Yorker can relate to taking the subway and being forced to look at a variety of advertisements – foot pain, infertility, bed bugs, online colleges, malpractice lawyers – the list is endless. Tired, boring ads that we’re forced to read as captives on the train.

Similarly, almost every New Yorker can also relate to the burden of needing a car in certain situations – going bulk shopping at Costco, purchasing furniture or over sized items, and going on a new season shopping spree.

I never much thought about the connection between the two until Zip Car started bombarding the subways with relatable, smart ads targeting the city dweller. Every subway trip I found myself looking for new Zip Car ads to make me laugh and say, “That is so true. New Yorkers do need a car in that situation.” 

Then, this morning, a new group of car rental ads popped up but this time from Hertz for their new program Hertz On Demand. The campaign promotes no fees and hourly rates. It clearly takes a competitive stand against Zip Car. Hertz took the Zip Car ideas and advertising campaign and flipped it to work for them. It is a great example of looking at who’s rising in the marketplace and creating a proactive defense.

I wonder who will jump on the bandwagon next – Avis, National, Enterprise? Sometimes it takes the little guys to inspire the big guys. Way to go Zip Car. My subway ride has become so much more enjoyable and I’m sure that sales for rentals at Zip Car and Hertz have spiked too.

Move over cola wars, it’s time for rental car wars!  From Jessica DiPietro at Lippe Taylor 

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