Perspective: Something Borrowed

It's not easy getting anyone else excited about renting a car

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You almost have to feel bad for car-rental companies. OK, wait—not in the fiscal sense. Enterprise Holdings (parent of the Alamo, Enterprise and National brands) did $2.2 billion in business for Q3 2012 (up 34 percent over last year) and posted profits of $171 million. So let’s rephrase: You almost have to feel bad for car-rental marketers. And why? Check out the 1958 and 2012 National Car Rental ads here. Making allowances for the Sinatra-esque fedora and the fins on that two-tone Fairlane, can you spot anything especially exciting going on here? Anything that makes you want to rush out to the airport and rent a midsized American sedan?

Exactly: Nope.

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