Hertz Car Rental Introduces Lemon as Mascot

Quick! Someone tell the folks at Hertz Car Rental that lemons are the last thing you want associated with your brand when you’re in the business of selling and/or renting automobiles.

Earlier this month, Hertz launched “The Gas and Brake,” a new advertising campaign that features “Horatio,” a new brand mascot that looks like he has a lemon for a head.  Voiced by Owen Wilson, the character appears in the car rental company’s latest television commercials.

In the one-minute spot below, Horatio appears as a dashboard doll near the end of the piece.

I majored in journalism and advertising in college, but never worked in the advertising industry after college.  Still, I think having a lemon in a car-related advertisement is a mistake.  Agree?  Disagree?  Don’t care?  Let me know.  It’s Monday.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This isn’t the first time Hertz has made headlines on this blog.  One year ago this week, the car rental firm was applauded in my post, New Hertz Ad Says ‘BUYCOTT ARIZONA!’

If you enjoy this blog and want to keep reading stories like the one above, show your support by using the “Support Bob” tool at right. Thanks in advance for your support!

New TV Spot Says ‘Thank You, Cows’

With cows receiving a lot of blame in recent years for allegedly contributing to global warming via their flatulence, I thought I would share a new television spot, “Thank you, cows”, that caught my attention this morning.

Produced by British dairy producer Müller, it made me think of wearing a CO2ws t-shirt.

Hat tip:  AgWired

New Hertz Ad Says ‘BUYCOTT ARIZONA!’

Only days after Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed into law Arizona’s tough new immigration measure, I expect officials at Hertz® Car Rental will be forced to decide whether or not they should pull a new television commercial from the airwaves.  After all, it appears to say, “BUYCOTT ARIZONA!”

The television commercial features an obviously-in-love 20-somethings couple renting a Volvo C70 convertible, climbing into the car, and then encountering a number of potential travel destinations from which to choose on the screen of the car’s NeverLost® navigation system.  Then, at the 19-second mark of the video, the couple selects Arizona — not Alabama, Alaska, Alberta or Arkansas — as their destination of choice.

Once word gets out about the ever-so-subtle message of this commercial, I expect members of the pro-illegal immigration crowd will demand Hertz officials pull the it (i.e., succumb to political correctness).   Conversely, I hope Hertz® officials will decide to support the governor of the Grand Canyon State for taking decisive action after the federal government would not.

If you support the stance taken by Governor Brewer and members of the Grand Canyon State’s legislature on illegal immigration, let the folks at Hertz® know about it.  Use the mailing address below to send a letter to company officials that encourages them to continue airing the ad.  The mailing address appears below:

Mark P. Frissora, Chairman & CEO
Hertz Global Holdings
225 Brae Blvd.
Park Ridge, NJ  07656

EDITOR’S NOTE: In case Hertz® pulls the ad prematurely, you can click here to see a screen grab of the moment in the spot when Arizona is selected as the couple’s travel destination.

Personal-Injury Lawyers Target New Victims: Cats

Watch television for any amount of time, and you’re sure to encounter a personal-injury law firm commercial targeting victims of the asbestos-related disease, mesothelioma.  Now, a new feline disease related to excessive mice consumption is the subject of a new advertising campaign.  The disease is known as mouse-o-thelioma, and it’s deadly.  If you own a cat, please pay attention.  Lives are at stake.  Laughs are in order.

Today’s Trial Lawyers Would Have Loved This Ad

Imagine what life in 1913 would have been like if the trial lawyer army that exists today was around back then.  For starters, newspaper advertisements like the one Iver Johnson’s Arms & Cycle Works ran (above) would have led to thousands — or, perhaps, millions — of product liability lawsuits.  That, however, was another day and age — one when personal responsibility still existed.

Hat tip:  Copyranter

Most Home Security Commercials Continue to Paint Inaccurate Picture of Crime in the USA

In a post nine months ago, I asked the question, Will Election of Barack Obama Open Window of Truth in Home Security System TV Commercials? Today, I can report some improvement:  One of the two companies highlighted in my previous report has changed its ways, while the other continues to paint an inaccurate picture of crime in the USA.


Prior to the election, the typical home security system commercial featured a bad guy either busting down a door or breaking a window at a home owned by a vulnerable person (i.e., a single career woman, an elderly lady or a child home alone).  Because every home featured in these commercials is equipped with a home security system provided by the company paying for the spot, the commercials always end with the bad guy running away upon hearing sirens activated by the professionally-installed alarm system.

In January, I reported that 7 out of 8 of the spots produced by the nation’s two largest home security systems companies — then known as Brinks and ADT — and found on YouTube, featured Caucasian men as the bad guys whose criminal actions were foiled by the home security systems.

Citing credible statistics, I took offense to these findings:

From 1976 to 2005, blacks committed more than 52% of all murders in America. In 2006, the black arrest rate for most crimes was two to nearly three times blacks’ representation in the population. Blacks constituted 39.3% of all violent-crime arrests, including 56.3% of all robbery and 34.5% of all aggravated-assault arrests, and 29.4% of all property-crime arrests. Investor’s Business Journal, April 28, 2008


Today, I ran a new search to find out whether either of the two companies –  ADT Security and Broadview Security (the new name of Brink’s) — had changed their ways as a result of my previous observations.  As it turns out, only one did.

ADT, it seems, has moved away from the heart-pounding, crime-in-progress commercials to spots like the one below that highlight the company’s knowledge, technology and expertise.

Broadview Security, on the other hand, appears to have added three new spots (below), all of which feature — drum roll please — only fair-skinned would-be criminals.  Pay close attention to the last one as it offers a video montage of several pseudo assailants in one 30-second spot.

I would contact representatives of Broadview if I thought it might produce a reasonable explanation.  Because they didn’t respond last time, however, I’m not going to waste my time again.

Sen. John Kerry’s Been Moonlighting as Ad Man

Just a few days ago, the Guardian newspaper reported that the conservation charity WWF and an ad agency admitted that a press campaign comparing the loss of life in the New York 9/11 attacks and the Asian tsunami “should never have been made” (see ad campaign image at right).

Today, a Washington Independent report highlighted the effort by Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) to push climate change legislation on the eve of the anniversary of Sept. 11.  Near the end of the piece, the writer highlights a comment made by Senator Kerry during a speech at George Washington University this morning:

“You know, the 9/11 Commission report found that in the lead-up to the attacks, we suffered from a ‘failure of imagination.’ We need to close the “imagination gap” on climate change and help people to envision a new kind of threat.

Who knew the French senator had ever worked for a living.  Apparently, he’s been moonlighting with an advertising agency.