After 50 years, car rental company Avis is getting rid of their “We Try Harder” tagline.

The tagline was created by DDB copywriter Paula Green. The advertising agency claims that “We Try Harder” came about  from the response that Bill Bernbach, the co-founder of DDB, heard from the rental car company’s management staff when he asked why customers rented cars from them.

“We Try Harder” was a tagline that became a promise Avis made to consumers about the quality of its service, as well as a way to elevate the brand’s status despite being the second-largest car rental company behind Hertz.

In a matter of a single year, the “We Try Harder” advertising campaign broke a 13-year run of losses. The previous year, Avis had a loss of $3.2 million. 1963 ended with a profit of $1.2 million. (That would be $8.9 million in today’s dollars!)

So, does this mean that Avis has given up trying harder? After all, they’re still not the leader in car rentals. In fact, they’re not even in second place, anymore (Enterprise is).

According to an Advertising Age article, the decision to do away with “We Try Harder” came from the car rental company’s chief marketing officer, Jeannine Haas – who has been with Avis for just over a year.

Ms Haas is the CMO. She earned that position and so we have to assume that for the sake of Avis, she knows what she’s doing. She explained it this way:

“Consumer-centric brands must always evolve in order to keep pace with ever-changing customer needs and preferences. Avis is evolving as a premium brand to better meet those needs. The new tagline 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.”


And what’s the new tagline?

“It’s Your Space.”

I’m sure this was thought over very carefully.

It remains to be seen how long “It’s Your Space” – and Jeannine Haas, for that matter – will try to capture our attention when we think of car rental companies. I think, though, that Paula Green won’t be seeing her 50-year tagline reign overthrown any time soon.

I’d have stuck with Paula’s tagline.

So sayeth the StickMonkey.

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