Car rental company Hertz has launched a new ad campaign
featuring a dashboard-figurine mascot named Horatio voiced by actor Owen Wilson, The
New York Times reported.
The mascot will be featured in commercials directed by
Tucker Gates, who has worked on primetime comedy fare including The Office and Parks and Recreation. The campaign, designed by DDB New York, is
intended to reach the 20-something target by introducing an approachable and
friendly character. Wilson was chosen for his "warmth and charm," said Michael
Senackerib, chief marketing officer, Hertz.
Named after Horatio Nelson Jackson, who was one of the
first people to drive a car across the U.S., Horatio joins Hertz's lineup of characters
to appear in the ad campaign. Gas and Brake, two real-life travel
personalities, will be played by actors Rebecca Corry and Derren Gilly, respectively.
With personalities to match the names,
the two characters will be featured in commercials in the coming weeks and
feature Hertz's mobile applications and range of cards. The spots will run on
network and cable television during shows such as Glee, The Office, Mad Men and Parks and Recreation as well as on ESPN, TBS and Comedy Central.
Hertz is also reaching out into the Web by launching the Gasorbrake.hertz.com
microsite, where visitors can watch outtakes from the commercials, interviews
with the characters, take quizzes and, like most current ad campaigns, share
media through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. A contest to
win one of 100 free weekend car rentals has also been set up on
The campaign will also run in international markets
including Britain, Italy, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands with print
and digital ads.