Ad of the Day: Hertz

Owen Wilson hits road again in DDB's 'Gas and Brake' campaign

Can you now rent Lightning McQueen from Hertz? Well, no. Race cars are still not available in the rental company's inventory. But Hertz is offering the next best thing—Owen Wilson, who voices the arrogant yet well-meaning sportster in Cars (and the upcoming Cars 2) and now brings his gleaming automotive pedigree (via voiceover) to the company's new global campaign from DDB, New York. The theme of the effort is "The Gas and the Brake," and it divides the universe into two types of people—those who are the gas (more aggressive, exciting, adventurous) and those who are the brake (conservative, reserved, more of a planner). Check out the nicely art-directed, 60-second introductory spot below. The concept is a nice personality-driven hook on which to hang the marketing—although the relevance to Hertz's actual offerings remains a little unclear. Hertz CEO Mark P. Frissora says the company "understands each customer is different, some of us are the Gas and some are the Brake, and offers flexible solutions to meet the variety of different travel and transportation needs." But how, exactly, does Hertz cater differently to outgoing people versus reserved people? By letting you book well in advance (for the planners) or on the spur of the moment (for the impulsive)? That doesn't seem to be much of a salient point. The spot doesn't really explain it either, with Wilson saying simply that no matter if you're the gas or the brake, "you always find your way." Perhaps it's as simple as reassuring travelers—who are often stressed out—that they're always going to be right, no matter their personality or travel habits. In any case, the dichotomy sets up opportunities for fun online games and the like. The campaign also introduces "Horatio," Hertz's new brand ambassador, a little yellow cartoony guy who's meant to be the "lighthearted embodiment of Hertz and the customer experience it provides." Now, let's see if he pops up in Cars.


Client: Hertz

Agency: DDB, New York

Spot: The Gas and the Brake

Chief Creative Officer: Matt Eastwood:

Group Creative Director: Pat Carella:

Art Director: Leah Renbaum:

Copywriter: Katie Riddle:

Director of Broadcast Publication: Ed Zazzera:

Senior Producer: Jason Way:

Account Director: Catherine East:

Management Supervisor: Kim Rosenberg:

Account Executive: Angelina Singleton:

Assistant Account Executive: Tegan Smith:

Business Manager: Lynda Blaney-Smith:

Digital Agency: G2

Production Co.: Independent Media Inc.

Director: Tucker Gates

Executive Producer: Susanne Preissier

Head of Production: Jason Ninness

Line Producer: Lindsay Skutch

Editorial: Cosmo Street

Executive Producer: Maura Woodward

Producer: Jennifer H. Parikh

Editor: Tom Scherma

Editor: Tiffany Burchard

Graphics & Visual Effects: Superfad

Producer: Dina Chang

Transfer: Rushes

Colorist: David Smith

Scheduling: Burke Campbell