Death of a traveling salesman (Nov, 1967)

“Your life is shitty and depressing, but use Hertz, we can make it slightly less soul crushingly painful.”

Seriously, who thought “We can help a little” was a good slogan to hang a campaign around? This ad reminds me of some of the ones in the Dudley Moore movie Crazy People. Clips: Trailer, Assorted Ads, Big Sony Pitch. Incidentally, the kid in the ad for “The Freak” in the trailer is my little brother Zack. That picture was originally supposed to be used as the poster for Pet Cemetery, but it was apparently too scary.

Death of a traveling salesman

You’ve just landed in a city that gets only 7 inches of rain a year. All on the day you arrive.

You have a meeting at 659 Washington Street, which is right across from the Civil War Monument, and everybody knows where that is. Except you.

You’re waiting in line to return the car you rented. So are a lot of other people. But they don’t have to catch a plane in five minutes.

You’ve locked your suitcase and you’ve tried to pick the lock with a paper clip. Now where can you find a locksmith to remove the paper clip?

You’ve run out of money. Your shoeshine boy does not accept major credit cards.

A business trip is often one minor calamity after another.

Add them together and they produce a traveler who mostly wants to travel home.

But long before he sees home, he’s likely to see a Hertz counter. And, as fellow humans, that gives us some obligation to do what we can for him.

And we can do more than rent a car.

For instance, if you don’t know how to get where you’re going, we’ll give you a map and diagram the route.

If you run short of money, we’ll lend you $10 cash. (Just show us your Hertz charge card and we’ll tack the loan onto your rental.) If you get caught in the rain without a raincoat, we’ll give you a raincoat.

If you’re a stranger in any of 33 cities, we’ll give you a survival manual that tells where to find anything else you may need—from a decent hotel room to dental work at 2 a.m.

If you’re in a hurry to return one of our cars, we won’t make you stand in line. If you’re charging your car, our express check-in lets you toss the rental agreement on our counter and run.

And if none of these solutions solves your problem, we’ll work out one that does. Or at least give you a shoulder to cry on.

Of course, we haven’t forgotten the most obvious reason why people come to Hertz.

So we constantly check our Fords and other cars to make sure that whatever else may undermine your travels —they won’t.

We can help a little.

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