Avis drops “We try harder” after 50 years

Was it absolutely, positively necessary to ditch the “iconic” slogan after all these years (see this AdAge article for the story)? True, there are times when a brand refresh is called for – ideally because of some compelling new insight which can be appropriated by the brand.  Sadly, that’s not the case here. “It’s your space” – both the tagline and the thought – is generic. If the target is business users, this sounds more appropriate for a hotel chain, or, come to think of it, pretty much anything. But the inside of a rental vehicle?

There is a very telling sentence in the AdAge report: “In a period when taglines and brand positioning typically come and go every few years….” They should be referred to as slogans, not taglines. Brand slogans – which reflect the brand idea. “Positioning” and “taglines” have less and less to do with brands. They are rapidly becoming disposable commodities. “It’s your space” may be a positioning, but it’s not a brand idea. How on earth do you execute that as a holistic brand idea?

On a final, smaller, but no less irritating point, when you see actors doing goofy dances and singing dumb songs (which you do with depressing frequency in US advertising these days), you know the agency’s struggling. I’m surprised they didn’t throw a dog in there – oh, wait a minute……


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