On Dec. 5, rental car company Hertz announced a partnership with concert promotions company Live Nation at an afternoon mini concert at Irving Plaza in New York City. Select fans and media were treated to a three-song set featuring Fitz and the Tantrums as well as food and beverages. The collaboration is part of the brand’s Moving with Music platform that helps it connect with 20- to 35-year-old consumers. The integrated concert promotion platform combines live, digital and mobile elements to bring fans a seamless experience. Here, Hertz vp Jerry Preyss talks about the brand’s plans to leverage the powerful relationships consumers have with their favorite cars and their favorite bands.
EM: What made the partnership with Live Nation a good way to connect with your target consumer?
JP: We wanted to look at promotional platforms that were not defined by sports. Our feeling was that sports is overly saturated, clichéd out, too traditional. We wanted to contemporize the brand, so when we started to have the discussion around that, the subject of music came up. The executive team had a very real conversation, sharing with one another stories about the day they got their license to drive. As soon as we backed out of the driveway and we were out of our parents’ view, we flipped on the radio. It’s an axiom; everybody says they did the same thing. This partnership is a marriage between music and cars.
EM: More and more, brands are opting for fully integrated concerts promotions that treat digital and live events as equals, bouncing one off the other. Is that what you’re going for?
JP: With the proliferation of digital and mobile platforms, media consumption patterns have changed dramatically. What music lets us do is to put the Hertz brand in front of our customers in a relevant way. Now when they go to a concert we’ll be able to offer them a car in the context of their lifestyle right on Ticketmaster. This makes much more sense than pushing them to hertz.com to rent a car. The car will be preloaded with directions via the Hertz’s NeverLost GPS system, to Live Nation venues. When they get there, there will be a lot of promotional things going on at the venues. We’re connecting the dots throughout the year on hertz.com and social media. Right now Hertz is connecting with fans through the Ticket to Ride contest on facebook.com/hertz. To enter, fans must “Like” the Hertz Facebook page and then upload a vacation or road trip photo to be judged online. The winner receives a trip for two, including a free Hertz rental, to meet and interview the electric soul pop band, Fitz and the Tantrums.
EM: How do you measure an integrated concert program like this?
JP: We’re seeing what kind of lifts we’re getting with our rentals. This is a new audience for us, we’re thinking this is a lot of incremental gain but we’re going to measure this by how we’re being perceived by this 20- to 35-year-old consumer, which is increasingly important to us. It’s important that they see us as a contemporary relevant lifestyle brand, which we believe we can and should be—up there in the same way a Starbucks or a Nike is. People are passionate about their travels and driving experiences, especially in America, and Hertz is a big part of that. We’re going to be measuring with a variety of tracking studies. Since we launched this program, the response has been overwhelming. Music is a wonderful thing, Live Nation is a perfect partner and we’re just feeling like we’re in a really good place now at Hertz and we have great expectations for it.