Established in 1946, Avis is one of the biggest car rental companies in the world with approximately 5,200 locations in more than 165 countries. Founded by Warren Avis — a pilot who, NPR reports, “came up with the idea when he couldn’t find ground transportation once he landed.” — it was also the first company to provide cars directly at the airport. Late last month, Avis introduced a new slogan, “It’s Your Space”, that replaces one of the longest standing and well recognized slogans, “We try harder”, created by Doyle Dane and Bernbach (DDB) in 1963. Along with the tagline, there is a major advertising campaign that just launched, created by Leo Burnett. No acknowledgment on the new logo.
Avis Car Rental today launched a new integrated marketing campaign, “It’s Your Space,” that aims to redefine and elevate the role of the rental car in corporate travelers’ busy lives. The campaign centers on how business professionals use the space inside the rental vehicle to be productive and recharge when traveling.
— Press Release
Despite its lackluster-ness, the old logo was quite recognizable — perhaps more for its distinctive red color among the major rental car players than for its bold, condensed, and italic typesetting which is less distinctive. What little made the Avis logo distinctive is now gone. No more italic. No more condensed. Just AVIS. There is nothing wrong with it, at all. But there is nothing right about it either. It just sits there. For anyone that thought the new Microsoft logo was boring I can’t imagine what this must be like. One could argue that the logo demonstrates confidence and that it doesn’t have to prove anything. Not me. The logo should somehow signal — with the same intensity as changing the slogan — that this is a company that has moved from “trying harder” into something better and improved. Sadly, neither the logo nor the slogan nor the painfully unfunny ads — not to mention the botched logo rollout with old logos all over the place (most notably in their social media outlets) — appear to try harder.