Death of a traveling salesman

Magazine ad for Hertz found in the October 9, 1967, issue of Newsweek
Magazine ad for Hertz found in the October 9, 1967, issue of Newsweek

Avis might’ve reached advertising legend status with its “When you’re only No.2, you try harder. Or else.” ad and eventual “We try harder.” tagline, but I gotta tell ya, this 1967 Hertz ad is its own kind of awesome. I never knew it existed before picking up a short stack of old Newsweek magazines at a local flea market this weekend. And the word count in this single print ad? 385.

Avis v. Hertz – a history. 

The ad copy:

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.

Ad 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 take 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.

Hertz System, Inc., 1967

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