Avis launches EU-wide TV campaign

Avis, the car rental company, is releasing a European TV campaign featuring its classic strapline, "we try harder".

VCCP created the spot, which is called "unlock the world" and airs during England’s World Cup match against Costa Rica today (24 June).

The black-and-white film opens with a man in a multi-story car park using the remote unlocking device on his keys to locate his hire car, but instead of one car responding, all of them do.

‘Let’s Go Fly A Kite’, the song from the film Mary Poppins, starts playing and the ad cuts to shots of different cars in exotic locations, beeping as they are remotely unlocked.

At the end of the spot, the line, "unlock the world" appears, followed by the Avis motto "we try harder".

Kieran Knight wrote the work. The art director was Veryan Prigg and the director was Marcus Söderlund through Academy Films. The TV ad, which will run in the UK, France and Germany, will be backed by a press campaign, shot by Samuel Hicks.

Media planning and buying is by Maxus.

This is the first major ad campaign since VCCP won Avis Budget Group’s £15 million European advertising account in 2013, after a shootout against DLKW Lowe and The Brooklyn Brothers.

In 2012, Avis in the US dropped its "we try harder" tag in favour of "it’s your space", which was written by Leo Burnett Business. The company’s then interim European marketing director, Sally Balcombe, fought to retain the older tagline in Europe.

"We try harder" was written by Doyle Dane Bernbach in 1962 and is credited with reversing the fortunes of the then struggling rental business.

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