Tilden steers toward clear focussed image

With the launch of a magazine ad campaign next month, Tilden Car & Truck Rental will bid to establish a clearly focussed image for itself in the highly competitive car rental industry.The new image, summarized by the tagline 'Drive Something Better,'...

With the launch of a magazine ad campaign next month, Tilden Car & Truck Rental will bid to establish a clearly focussed image for itself in the highly competitive car rental industry.

The new image, summarized by the tagline ‘Drive Something Better,’ is intended to brand Tilden as the car rental company offering the widest selection of better-than-average vehicles.

The ad campaign, created by Toronto agency Franklin Dallas Advertising, will run November to February in issues of Time, L’Actualite and Maclean’s Platinum Edition.

To back up the new positioning, Tilden has committed itself to stocking its rental fleet with higher quality cars, equipped with more features, than it has in the past.

As well, it is expanding its model offering, which has traditionally consisted solely of domestic cars made by General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, to include a selection of imported luxury models.

Among the imports already added to the fleet are the Pathfinder and Maxima, both made by Nissan.

Sandra Diem, Tilden’s director of marketing, says the company’s corporate repositioning will not require a dramatic adjustment in the car buying habits, explaining ‘Tilden has always carried better, more interesting cars.’

Rather, says Diem, ‘we are going to make an effort to let people know what we have.’

According to Diem, Canadian-owned Tilden, which operates about 400 outlets nationwide, including 101 outlets in airports, is the second- or third-largest rental firm in the country behind Budget Rent a Car.

Gary Brandes, president of Franklin Dallas Advertising, says the company is in need of an image makeover, since its most significant point of differentiation from the competition is, perhaps, merely the fact it is Canadian.

The other four rental companies in the top five are u.s.-based, and each has a clear position in the market.

Budget Rent a Car and Thrifty Car Rental have established images as low-cost players, while Aviscar and Hertz Rent A Car trade on highly polished reputations for superior customer service.