In our series of great advertising campaigns in the world, the next campaign that we are going to see is Avis Rent a Car’s ‘We are No. 2′ campaign.

So what makes this campaign special?

Usually ad campaigns are all about selling and pushing their product in the consumer’s face. Rarely does a campaign come by where it is applauded for the truth. But Avis decided to create a landmark advertising campaign by using the simple truth.

Avis was facing stiff competition from Hertz rent a car which was the top most car rental at that time. While this campaign did let Avis overtake Hertz, it still got in a lot of business and profit for Avis for its honest approach to the advertisement.

Businessman Robert Townsend was the CEO of Avis when they were trying to turn around the brand. Townsend approached Bill Bembach at Doyle Dane Bembach to create a campaign that was worthy and Bembach asked for 90 days time to learn the inner workings of the company. In those 90 days, Helmut Krone and Paula Green, the art director and writer respectively, learnt that the staff at Avis had the general idea of being number 2 and hence they try harder to give a better experience to their customers. It is this thought that was converted into one of the most iconic campaigns of all time.

Avis ads played around the fact that they were number 2 and that they had to try extra hard to make sure that they were number 1 in their customers’ hearts. If you look at the content of the ads that spanned out with this idea, it gives you a clearer picture of why this campaign was a huge success.

Pretty smart, eh?

*Ads source: Sell, Sell, Sell.

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