Enterprise Holdings—parent of car rental companies Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car—has named Ogilvy as its first agency of record to lead global brand strategy.
The announcement comes six months after it was reported the St. Louis, Missouri-based company was conducting three separate reviews to find agency partners across global media, brand strategy, and digital as it looked to increase its marketing spend. A person close to the process confirmed the review lasted three months and produced four finalists before a decision was made.
The finalists included a mix of consulting companies and advertising agencies, Matt Ryan, CEO of Roth Ryan Hayes, which was the consulting firm that led the search, told Ad Age. This was among the first major pitches that new global CEO Andy Main was involved in after joining the company last summer, according to peson close to the pitch.
“We’ve seen first-hand how mobility has started to revolutionize entire industries and provide an ever-growing mobility ecosystem,” Main said in a statement. “We look forward to partnering with the team at Enterprise Holdings to create innovative ideas and scale them to drive value for Enterprise, their customers and mobility business partners.”
Ogilvy's growth and innovation unit will lead the account and support Enterprise in developing its overall brand strategy, positioning, architecture, identity and design standards moving forward.
"As we continue to build and invest for the future, we were looking for a strong partner to work alongside us to unlock new growth opportunities and help us deliver on our brand purpose,” said Randal Narike, Executive Vice President, Global Mobility and Customer Experience at Enterprise Holdings, in annoucing the Ogilvy win. “Their team brings a deep understanding of the mobility landscape and a data-driven approach to building brands that will bolster our efforts to be the leading mobility provider in the world.”
The marketer did not disclose the status of the other reviews.
The company’s global media review, which a spokesperson earlier confirmed its incumbent, Omnicom Media Group's PHD, was invited to defend, is being run by Ebiquity. Last year Enterprise said it was seeking "an integrated and strategically skilled media partner that can enhance our current framework, communications planning and tech-stack to help build effective [and] efficient media campaigns for the future."
Enterprise’s digital review is being run internally. The company said it "is accelerating digital investments and looking for Customer Preference Center and Customer Data Platform partners to support more personalized marketing efforts."
The appointment follows a rough year for the rental car industry due to the pandemic. In 2020, the U.S. car rental industry totaled $23.2 billion in revenue which fell 27.4% compared to revenue of $32 billion in 2019 according to a report by Auto Rental News.
Over a year since the pandemic started, there is now a surge in interest for post-vaccination travel which has been “colliding with a relative shortage of rental cars,” the Wall Street Journal recently reported. “Rental-car companies sold a huge chunk of their fleets—hundreds of thousands of vehicles—to survive the pandemic.”
In statements to WSJ two weeks ago, Hertz Global Holdings, Avis Budget Group, and Enterprise, the three big U.S. rental car companies, said they expect shortages to continue as they’ve run into delays because of an auto-manufacturing slowdown that first started in January
This is the fourth notable account win for Ogilvy this year.m In March, Ogilvy was named the global lead creative agency for Absolut Vodka and lead creative agency for Pernod Ricard USA’s Olmeca Altos Tequila, Tequila Avión and Del Maguey mezcal brands. In February, lighter brand, Zippo appointed Ogilvy as its creative, PR and social agency partner.