Avis resurrects ‘We try harder’ strapline in first TV campaign

Avis is bringing back its brand strapline ‘We try harder’ after a 50-year hiatus as part of its first TV campaign to be screened in the UK as it looks to inject new life into the brand.


The TV spot will be unveiled on ITV during England’s final World Cup game against Costa Rica tonight (24 June). It will be the first time in almost 50 years that the famous slogan has been used in any above the line communication in the region.

While “We try harder” is the brand’s mission statement, the new campaign invites consumers to “Unlock the world” by showing off the type of experiences that car hire can enable.

Created by VCCP, the ad begins with a man using a key fob to unlock a car, which is used to symbolise the world of opportunities that car hire can open up. All the vehicles in the car park flash their lights in unison, which begins a chain reaction and highlights an array of cars, including a Porsche 911 and Mercedes C200, in various locations. The TV ads will be supported by press and digital activity.

Speaking to Marketing Week Troy Warfield, group commercial director of Avis Budget in EMEA, says the company is looking to shake up an industry which he thinks has “lost its way”. The new campaign aims to put the “excitement, romance and adventure” back into the market.

Warfield says the decision to resurrect the 1960s strapline is meant as a “statement of intent” for Avis and to communicate its brand purpose. He believes it is still relevant today because it informs “every aspect of how our employees think about the customer”.

“A strapline has to be a statement of intent that underpins everything you do. ’We try harder’ is as much a part of the organisation’s ethos as it is a powerful strapline for the brand,” he says.

The campaign follows a period of investment in its customer proposition by Avis, which has redeveloped its website, launched a new mobile app and reinvigorated its customer loyalty programme. It now wants to get back on people’s radar, says Warfield, as well as get them to reappraise the brand.

“We have kept the message as simple as possible to really talk about the fact that as someone experiences the brand they get to unlock this world of great cars that can take them to great places,” he says.

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