Hertz Explores Personal ‘Journeys’

Hertz is hoping to make an emotional connection with consumers in a new campaign that centers on personal journeys.

Dubbed “Journey On,” the effort includes TV, print and online ads, which show the relationship between the car rental service and its customers. One 60-second spot, for instance, features singer/songwriter Amy Regan who runs into car troubles on her way to a performance. Hertz comes to the rescue and Amy makes it in time for her concert. Her song, “Carry On,” plays throughout the entire commercial.

In another spot, “Luke,” a couple rents a Hertz vehicle on the way to Scottsdale, Ariz. It is later revealed that Luke, who narrates the ad, plans to propose to his girlfriend on the trip.

Both 30- and 60-second versions of the spots have begun airing on CBS and NBC during shows that include How I Met Your Mother, Cold Case and The Office. They will air on major cable entertainment networks as well. Print ads in national newspapers and online banners are also part of the mix, per the company.

Hertz CMO Mike Senackerib said the campaign, via Omnicom Group’s DDB, takes a more personal approach, as compared to other car rental ads that have historically focused on products and services. “We are reframing the benefits of renting with Hertz in the context of what matters to the customer — peace of mind and the ability to focus on the real reason they are renting a car,” he said.

Hertz plans to integrate the theme, “Journey On,” throughout the organization as part of its larger rebranding efforts.

“The use of the word ‘journey’ was a conscious and careful decision,” said Senackerib. “We wanted to convey that travel is more than a trip from point A to point B; it’s a journey, and one that customers can feel good about taking with Hertz.”

Hertz spent $9 million advertising its car rental business in 2009, compared to $46 million in 2008, per the Nielsen.