Who's alive now?
In "A book about the classic Avis advertising campaign of the 60s," (yes, that's really the title), the author details not only the beginnings of the "When you're #2, you try harder" Avis philosophy (first presented in the ad at left), but also its decline.
That, however, changed in 1967, when Hertz switched agencies to Carl Alley, Inc., a shop as revered for its creative approach to advertising as Avis' agency, Doyle Dane Bernbach. To stop Avis' slow erosion of its market share, Hertz began an aggressive campaign that turned its rival's #2 claim back on them, with ads like the one at right.
Much like Hertz, Microsoft had refused to directly engage the upstart Apple -- until recently, when they finally responded (after some amusing but quite pointless spots with Jerry Seinfeld) with a series of commercials that both reinforces the ubiquity of the PC, but more importantly, rehabilitates its image by forcefully rejecting the stereotype pushed by Apple:
Is it working? Apple seems to be continuing with their spots, but will Bill Bernbach's assertion -- "As of today, they are alive and we are dead." -- ultimately apply to Apple's campaign as well?
(NOTE: With this entry, Deconstruction On Madison Avenue resumes publishing -- albeit on a bit more irregular schedule. Thanks for coming back.)