Turo wants to accelerate its car-sharing momentum

The company has launched a new brand platform that emphasizes host-guest relationships and the individuality of members.

Turo is capitalizing on an opportunity – a boom driven by the chip shortage and a “rental car crunch” during this past summer – to entrench its car-sharing service in the minds of consumers with the launch of a new brand platform.

With more than 450,000 vehicles available across North America, Turo acts sort of like an Airbnb-meets-Zipcar service for cars – owners can place rental listings for their vehicles on Turo’s platform, and travellers or others who need a vehicle for a set period of time can then rent from those owners via Turo’s service.

Founded in 2010, the service enjoyed a surge in usage this past summer as pandemic travel restrictions began to lift and more people were traveling to visit family and friends. As that happened, Turo started to hear “amazing and inspirational stories” of how its service had facilitated those travel opportunities when traditional rental services were low or out of vehicles, says Andrew Mok, CMO for the company.

“We had hosts across Canada and the U.S. who jumped in to fill the void left by the traditional companies,” he tells strategy. “They made the return of summer travel possible for a lot of travellers across the country.”

The campaign consists of OOH billboards – including presence in Toronto’s Yonge and Dundas Square – as well as 30-second spots running digitally. The videos heavily emphasize the connection between Turo hosts and the guests renting their cars, while the billboards portray the service’s ability to match individual people with vehicles “that match their style, personality and vibe.”

The timing of the campaign is no coincidence: not only are more people traveling to visit family over the holidays, but the service is also riding a wave of heightened awareness based on the service’s strong summer. Many people have heard about Turo for the first time, and “we felt this was the perfect time to put the pedal to the metal and accelerate all of the momentum that we have,” Mok says.

The campaign will run at least into the new year, Mok says, but more importantly it establishes a platform that the brand “can own, expand and build upon to tell different stories about the kinds of cars and experiences guests can have with different hosts.”