Avis Gets Back Into Print Swing

Avis will launch its biggest magazine push in five years as part of an effort from McCann Erickson that highlights services for disabled travelers and the availability of satellite radio in vehicles, the rental-car company said.

Print ads from the Interpublic Group shop in New York break in May issues of inflight, travel and lifestyle publications. Copy-heavy ads tout the client’s AvisAccess service, which provides cars with features such as knobs on steering wheels for disabled travelers. The work also highlights free XM Satellite Radio for premium and luxury rentals and the expanded distribution to 28 markets of Avis’ Quick City Guides.

The ads explain each offering and conclude, “There’s quite a big difference between trying hard and trying harder. It’s the -er.”

“Print is a great vehicle to deliver the company’s philosophy of customer service and recognition of the individual,” said Kevin Scher, svp, group managing director on the Avis account at McCann in New York.

While upping its print spend, Avis—No. 3 behind Enterprise and Hertz—also plans a TV spot behind the satellite-radio service. The company said it would spend $19 million on ads this year (the same as last year), but 25 percent of that amount would go to print work. In 2003, all brand work was done on TV.

“We really need to reach a narrow market of people who rent cars with a fairly complex message and thoughtful reasons on why Avis is their best choice and why Avis is a premium brand,” said Scott Deaver, evp of marketing at Cendant-owned Avis.