Cool Dog

Remember when ... Hertz's advertisements were intended to demonstrate that their cars and services were high-technology while lesser car rental firms couldn't hope to compete with an equal level of technology? The ad agency for Hertz forgot one thing -- many of us would have preferred the low-technology offering. After all, we remember many things (none particularly flattering) about that era of Hertz and their technology.

Petey would be preferable to Hertz's NeverLost.

Business travelers -- whether the business is large or small -- have long been courted by Avis, Hertz, and National while most competitors are oriented toward leisure travelers or local insurance replacements. And Hertz has implemented many products and services for the market, including the loyalty program then-known as #1 Club Gold and the NeverLost service. Yet the early part of this century wasn't the greatest era of Hertz's technology. When this commercial was produced, my #1 Club Gold status consistently guaranteed me an "upgrade" to a Ford Crown Victoria / Mercury Grand Marquis until I had a "No Crown Vic / Grand Marquis" annotation placed on my account -- fuel was expensive! And the NeverLost service was often referred to as "AlwaysLost" or "NeverThere". Common destinations and addresses would frequently result in "No entries found" as if 90 percent of the country were located at Groom Lake.

There is one big lesson for Hertz's ad team; when suggesting your competitors are low-tech or inferior, make sure the competitors' "offerings" aren't so cute! Give us the option and we would happily take along the exceptionally smart Petey the Pointer (well, Petey's descendants)! After all, we already know the policies on pets and service animals. We just need to make sure we stay away from ancient Ford Festivas!

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