Business

Zipcar launches some irreverent online ads

Zipcar Inc., the Boston-based subsidiary of rental-car company Avis Budget Group Inc., has just launched a cheeky online video ad campaign that looks to convince young consumers that Zipcar’s car-sharing service is a fun and easy way to get around a city.

The ads play off the colloquial --- and rather naughty --- catch-phrase, “I’d tap that” and give it a double-entendre meaning. As young folks know, “I’d tap that” is a phrase that generally signifies a gent’s eagerness to fling woo at a sightly ingenue --- or an ingenue’s wish to get matey with a gent.

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In the online videos, the phrase also notes that Zipcar members merely have to tap the windshield of Zipcar with their membership card to gain access to a nifty set of wheels. (First, however, members have to reserve a Zipcar with a smartphone app.)

“We like to be witty with a wink as a way to show that we’re a fun and engaging brand,” said Lindsay Wester, a Zipcar public relations specialist.

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Zipcar’s larger marketing mantra is that its car-sharing service is ideal for people intent on pursuing “simple and responsible urban living,” she said.

Zipcar’s global fleet now numbers more than 10,000 vehicles, and the company claims that each of its vehicles replaces 15 personally-owned vehicles from city streets. In other words, it makes more sense for many urban dwellers to be Zipcar members than to own a car themselves and deal with the hassles of parking, Zipcar claims.

The marketing message about “simple and responsible urban living” is aimed at many demographics, but the “I’d tap that” ads target millennials --- consumers roughly between the ages of 18 and 35.

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The “I’d tap that” ads were created by Zipcar’s in-house marketing team with the help of the New York production company Hayden 5.

Zipcar is paying Youtube, Facebook, and Hulu.com to have the ads prominently featured on their websites, Wester said.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.
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