Thrifty Kicks Off 'Book Smart' Ad Campaign

TULSA, Okla. -- Thrifty Car Rental kicked off a new multi-million dollar advertising campaign in September, encouraging customers to "book smart" with Thrifty.

The campaign takes a comical look at the disastrous events that can happen when customers don't plan their trips wisely. The campaign promotes the Thrifty Web site,

The television commercials will begin airing Saturday, Sept. 4 at noon EDT, during ABC's college football coverage. Additional placements are scheduled on the Weather Channel and during "Airlines," the reality series on A&E.

As part of the new campaign, Thrifty is also introducing new print advertising in USA Today and in Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, AirTran Arrivals, and Southwest Spirit Magazine, as well as revamped online banner ads on Yahoo!, AOL, MSNBC,, and New radio advertising is scheduled for spring 2005.

In one episode, a sports fan on a plane tries to squeeze an ice chest into an overhead bin, soaking an unlucky business traveler. "This is not what smart travelers do," cautions the announcer. "But this is." Displaying the Web site, he continues, "Go to Compare our cars, compare our rates. We're not scared, because we put our lowest rates out there every day. -- book smart."

Other humorous segments feature an obnoxious guitar player in coach who offends a business traveler trying to sleep; a vacation-bound family that blows out the tires on the family roadster when it's loaded up Beverly Hillbillies-style; a young woman inadvertently assaulting her fellow passengers with an oversized backpack as she tries to make it down the narrow aisle of an airplane; and a football fanatic who sets off the alarm at airport security when he tries to pass through the metal detector with chrome shoulder pads and other outrageous attire.

The new advertising campaign was created by Bernstein-Rein Advertising of Kansas City, Thrifty Car Rental's agency of record for six years.

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