Most reading know what happened to O.J Simpson, the fallen football hero and actor. Also, many recognize the big yellow and black Hertz, the rental car company. The business and the man they called Juice once were linked.
O.J Simpson wasn’t always a villain, he was at one time an extremely talented football player, who parlayed his charm and grace into advertising and acting roles in movies like The Towering Inferno (yes, The Juice was in that 70s disaster flick).
He’s perhaps better known for his role in the murder trial in the 90s for his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman than his role as Norbert in The Naked Gun movie series, a charge of which he beat with a Dream Team group of lawyers lead by the now deceased Johnny Cochran and F. Lee Bailey.
More recently Simpson is remembered for the botched memorabilia robbery in Vegas that led to more legal trouble. He was convicted and sentenced to a Nevada prison. He did his time, and was eventually released from prison not too long ago.
But let’s go back in time to when O.J Simpson was not a social leper and convicted felon. If only to reminisce about the company Hertz’ before their current financial struggles.
Certainly at least some reading remember O.J Simpson in the mid to late 70s running around airports and other areas promoting Hertz rent-a-car? If not, YouTube has our fix:
Look, I dig watching these nostalgic commercials. O.J Simpson looks good in these commercials and so does Hertz. Here’s another Hertz commercial with Simpson in 1993, a couple short years before his infamous murder trial:
The slogan for Hertz is particularly interesting in the first commercial: “Nobody does it better than Hertz” — considering they have now filed for bankruptcy in 2020.
Not here to celebrate people losing their jobs or the downfall of Hertz (although the CEO of Hertz making $9 million is disappointing), rather I found the article quoted below an interesting parallel to the movie business. I’ve bolded the important part.
It’s easy to blame the company’s misfortunes, as well as the other corporate casualties, on the pandemic. The reality is a different story. The failures of Hertz and the others have more to do with their own arrogant inertia and inability to recognize the fast-changing trends and a refusal to adapt their business models accordingly.Hertz Files For Bankruptcy After 16,000 Employees Were Let Go And CEO Made Over $9 Million
If we look at Hertz’ failure, parallels to the movie business are clear. An inability to recognize changing trends — streaming becoming something more and more people want to do and how can this be embraced better?
Luckily, AMC and Cinemark never had O.J Simpson as spokesperson, but one thing these businesses can do is not fight with studios in public. Get together behind closed doors and hammer out deals that make movie theaters better partners. Work together and recognize every business loses when customers aren’t listened to.
As the article states, rental car companies have fallen on hard times not only because of the pandemic, but because customers would rather take an Uber or Lyft than deal with the red tape and hassle of renting a car.
We rented a car in Vegas recently — not from Hertz — and it was a fairly quick and painless process, but we still had to wait in line, go through an unnecessary upsell process for overpriced add-ons we didn’t need, despite reserving a car in advance. The process should have been even further streamlined. We get off the plane, go to the rental car parking lot, show ID, pick out our car, inspect it for damage and leave. Done. Why the additional need to go to some stuffy counter and talk to someone so they could sell us more coverages or a “better” vehicle? Yes, of course, because all customers want to be sold something else after they’ve already made a decision to buy from you. Not.
The movie business when it reopens needs to learn lessons from other companies like Hertz that are going out of business. Listen to your customers.
Hertz’s slogan in the 70s should have been: “Nobody does it better than YOU, our customers!” That sort of thinking is the ticket to longevity in business.
To those running AMC or Cinemark: embrace both humility and change. Hertz has been in business over 100 years. They didn’t change. Movie theater chains need to change.
UPDATE 5/24/2020 9:45am PT: OJ Simpson on Twitter says he is “available” to Hertz.