It's beginning to look a lot like 2009.
That's the year Americans were introduced to Blake Mycoskie. The Venice, California-based Toms (nee, TOMS Shoes) founder appeared in a 30-second TV commercial for AT&T, which made its debut during the Masters Golf Tournament in April. The spot was so popular the telecom giant commissioned another 60-second spot, which premiered during Fox's American Idol, then the nation's favorite television show.
Today, Toms has grown into a powerhouse that spans the globe with products ranging widely from coffee to eyewear. In 2014, the company was valued at about $625 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. And its "one for one" business model--which initially had the company donate a pair of shoes to needy children in the developing world for each pair it sold--has inspired scores of copycats.
With this success you'd think Mycoskie's days of commerical cameos would be over, but you'd be wrong. Avis Car Rental this week announced the launch of a new marketing campaign, which once again features the famed founder, along with a few other familiar faces including: Alexandra Wilkis Wilson and Alexis Maybank, the co-founders of online luxury retailer Gilt Groupe and Baratunde Thurston, the comedian co-founder of Cultivated Wit, a digital content and product development company.
Created by Leo Burnett Business, the new campaign dubbed "What Drives You," is aimed at bringing attention to the Parsippany, New Jersey-based company's Signature Series of luxury brand cars. Through a 30-second TV spot, a series of web videos and a social media marketing campaign, Avis wants to shed light on the passions and motivations of entrepreneurs and other professionals.
"We wanted to discover the personal stories behind the success of unique, innovative professionals and have them tell their stories in their own words," noted Jeannine Haas in a press release. The chief marketing officer at Avis Budge Groups's North America business, adds: "This campaign shows that, like them, Avis believes how far you go in life is a matter of what drives you."
Besides inspiring warm fuzzy feelings about following your passion, Avis wants you to share them too. The company, which has a presence in 165 countries, is asking customers to share what drives them at its Facebook page, #WhatDrivesYou. Participants won't just get a chance at a complimentary rental car, however.
Winners could get a new BMW along with professional mentorship from Blake Mycoskie, Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson. What's more, sweepstakes participants will automatically be entered to win $2,500 in Gilt credit, $1,000 worth of Toms gear and a complimentary Avis Signature Series rental.
"The Avis #whatdrivesyou campaign gave me an opportunity to share my story with others who may consider a career in entrepreneurship," says Wilkis Wilson, the Gilt Groupe co-founder, who also recently launched Glamsquad, an on-demand app providing professional and affordable beauty services. "Building a company isn't for everyone, but I do hope to inspire people to at least consider the possibility."
As for Mycoskie, the following might just say it all: