Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Avis Tries Blander.



New CMO.  New agency. New campaign. Same old meaningless justifications - this time reported in AdAge.

"Consumer-centric brands must always evolve in order to keep pace with ever-changing customer needs and preferences." She added that "Avis is evolving as a premium brand to better meet those needs." The new tagline, she said, is "reflective of [Avis'] ongoing mission to be a customer-led, service-driven company, and presents the brand in terms of the customer experience and the advantages inherent in renting from Avis."

Me neither. So let's move on to something I think I do understand - the removal after 50 years of the one thing people associate with Avis. Something I doubt will ever fall out of the list of customer needs and preferences regardless of how much they evolve. Something that reeks of that brand equity thing that marketers are always banging on about, and something that can't be explained away with this rationale:

"We firmly believe that after nearly five decades, 'We Try Harder' is fully embedded in the Avis DNA, and defines the spirit our employees embody to deliver superior customer service."

Well, it's not in the DNA of new employees, it's not in the mind of new customers and it's not going to remain in anyone's consciousness without regular reminders. To think otherwise is to subscribe to the homeopathic school of marketing.

It doesn't have to be at the heart of their marketing, but to remove it completely is to jettison heritage and authenticity for fear that those aren't modern attributes. It's what Coke did with New Coke and, just like old Coke, I'd imagine that We Try Harder will return. If only because evolving from distinctive to bland in one CMO is just not trying hard enough.

3 Comments:

Blogger Willem van der Horst said...

Do you have a sentence missing after the quote? I understand anyways, or rather I don't either in this case. Definitely all bland and meaningless, I'd agree in thinking 'We try harder' will likely be back relatively soon.

5:49 AM, September 01, 2012  
Blogger john dodds said...

No missing sentence before "me neither" Willem - just being informal. My reaction to the quote was one of total uncomprehension and I wrote as if everybody else was in my head. Luckily for them, they aren't.

1:25 PM, September 01, 2012  
Blogger Rob Mortimer said...

"the homeopathic school of marketing"

Brilliantly damning line.

The sad thing from a planning perspective is that they have thrown away a line that was strategically brilliant and timeless, for a short term executional idea that will need replacing in a few years.

Hopefully with "We Try Harder".

3:47 PM, September 12, 2012  

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