Avis and TOMS Form Unlikely Partnership for ‘What Drives You’

At first glance, rental car company Avis and shoe brand TOMS have little in common, but the companies have recently joined forces for a campaign called “What Drives You.”

The digital initiative showcases videos from TOMS and flash-sale site GILT, among others, in a documentary-style format that highlights each brand’s approach to success and entrepreneurial spirit. In a competition using TOMS’ social media followings, too, users of the shoe brand and Avis were encouraged to submit their own generated content showing off their personal achievements. The contest, which ended May 3, offered entrants the chance to win a BMW and mentoring sessions with executives from both TOMS and GILT. 

ClickZ spoke with Avis chief marketing officer (CMO) Jeannine Haas about forming unique partnerships, measuring the success of a giveaway, and keeping up engagement long after the prizes have been awarded. 

ClickZ (CZ): TOMS and GILT seem, on the surface, to be unlikely partners for Avis. How did you choose the appropriate brands for this campaign?

Jeannine Haas (JH): Travel plays an integral role for each brand we chose, which showcases Avis’s role as a trusted travel partner. We also chose these individuals to represent our Avis Car Rental brand because they each uniquely demonstrate how they channeled their passion into driving success in a highly inspirational way. Our goal with the campaign was to have each individual tell their story in their own words, and show that Avis believes how far you go in life is a matter of what drives you.

CZ: What kind of testing do you do for a giveaway?

JH: Our 2013 campaign “The Professionals” included a giveaway that taught us a lot. Forty percent of likes came through word-of-mouth referrals and shares, and yielded a significantly higher engagement rate versus our category. Engagement is our key metric for this campaign, and we wanted to build on the success of previous contests by introducing experiential elements like the professional mentorship in addition to a marquee prize.

CZ: How do you measure ROI on a big, multi-faceted campaign like this?

JH: We measure ROI on a number of different KPIs, including contest entries, shares, impressions, engagement, and video views. The “What Drive You” campaign has already surpassed the 2013 “The Professionals” campaign. Throughout “What Drives You,” we’ve offered exclusive experiences with our Avis Signature Series fleet, and so we are also tracking the impact on revenue from these new customers.

CZ: What opportunities for further engagement do you get from a user-generated content campaign like “What Drives You”? How do you continue to foster the relationships you’ve built?

JH: Seventy percent of contest entrants opted in to receive communications directly from Avis. We’re also going to continue the conversation with our new followers on Twitter with engaging and relevant posts and additional TOMS giveaways. As for our newly acquired fans on Facebook we will continue to hopefully engage, interest, and delight them with relevant and interesting content to be the top-of-mind rental car company for their next trip.

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