Home » These Tom Brady Fake-Talk-Show Hertz Car Rental Ads Fill Me With Rage And I Can’t Figure Out Why

These Tom Brady Fake-Talk-Show Hertz Car Rental Ads Fill Me With Rage And I Can’t Figure Out Why

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Commercials are like cockroaches: ubiquitous, nearly indestructible, and crunchy, with a strong, nutty flavor. And despite how quickly I attempt to click the Skip Ads button, commercials still fight their way into my awareness in many places I watch videos online, as we all do. One particular class of commercials that seems to appear more than most is automotive-related in that it is for the car rental company Hertz. They’re a series of commercials with legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady, and the conceit is that he’s on some sort of rental car-focused talk show. For whatever reason, these commercials grate on me in a deep, profound way, and I finally realized that the only way to deal with the stabbing pains of annoyance I feel when one of these miserable 15 seconds of irritant assaults me, turning even light and sound into my foes, is to kvetch about them to you, here, publicly. So let’s get to it. Because there’s something about these ads that makes me feel more empty than any ad for a rental car company should.

If you’re somehow not familiar with these commercials, allow me to congratulate you on your luck and privilege while simultaneously providing you the means to shatter your happy walls of ignorance, if you just click play below.

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Holy crap, there are only two of these so far? I could have sworn they made like 1,600 of these things. Okay, well, that’s good news! Maybe we can put a stop to these before they proliferate!

Also, I’m sorry for putting you through this, but I feel it’s the only way. This first one is the more mild of these ads, I think:

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Okay, the one above I guess sets up the whole insipid premise: Hertz, a car rental company, has inexplicably decided to produce a talk show, and hired some sort of Oprah/Wendy Williams-type of host to helm it. The actress here plays her role very well, and I don’t blame her, or even Tom Brady, for the nightmare that these spots have become. I think the reason is more elusive.

In this first clip, they’re trying to make it seem like Brady is revealing something deeply confessional? And somehow he analogizes it to renting a car and driving off, because Tom Brady, like any of us when we fantasize, likes to keep our expectations nice and low, because that’s what fantasy is all about, right? If we talk about just having a car and going, then the fantasy is ruined because now we have to fantasize about getting it registered and insured and all that.

Then it turns into one of those Oprah giveaway things and there’s a wheel and oh it’s all just a painful way to tell you Hertz rents EVs, I guess.

This other one is worse, somehow:

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What’s this about? It’s supposed to be like one of those paternity test talk show segments? Is that what’s going on here? But instead they’ve confirmed Tom is renting a Shelby Mustang?

Why do I hate these ads so much? Objectively, they shouldn’t bother me so. They’re just dumb commercials; Hertz wants people to know they rent EVs and Shelby Mustangs. Fine. Fantastic. Good for you, Hertz. But this conceit of the fake talk show – it’s all so cloying and grating and the more you scrutinize it, the worse it gets. If we’re supposed to believe these are clips from the Hertz Let’s Go Show, then how are we not supposed to consider what this banal show would be about?

Ugh, and reading what Hertz writes about these things in their press release just makes it all so much worse:

“In the campaign’s hero spot, the five-time Super Bowl MVP finds himself baring his soul to Orji on the show, ultimately winning a ‘Let’s Go moment’ in a Hertz electric vehicle (EV) rental. Brady and Orji recreate multiple iconic daytime talk show moments in the new series while highlighting Hertz’s diverse vehicle options – including its growing EV fleet – Hertz Gold Plus Rewards loyalty program, partnerships, global footprint and more. “

Oh god it looks like they’re planning on more of these:

“The Hertz. Let’s Go! campaign has effectively shined a spotlight on our fast and seamless service, and innovative vehicle offerings, including our EV rentals,” said Wayne Davis, Hertz’s chief marketing officer. “Tom Brady has been such an authentic and enthusiastic partner for Hertz and this campaign, that we mutually decided to extend our partnership through 2024. We can’t wait for people to engage with the next phase of the campaign as Tom and Yvonne bring their talent and humor to showcase the many elements that make renting from Hertz a great way to travel and create memories.”

There’s a “next phase” of this vacuous shit? Where’s my vomit bucket? Wait, that’s my chili bucket. Dammit. Now look what they’ve made me do.

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[Ed Note: I can neither confirm nor deny that this post is acting as therapy for Jason. -DT]. 

Okay, let’s get back to the big question: why do these ads bother me so? They really shouldn’t. They’re commercials, they’re not supposed to be art, they’re here to sell stuff. And yet, not all commercials feel as painful as these do. I think maybe the whole talk show premise just drives home that they’re really about almost nothing, and dressing up almost nothing in something as loud and involved as a talk show just makes it all the more clear and painful.

Is anyone actually amused by these? Is anyone delighted thinking “oh, hey, Tom Brady is on a talk show! About renting cars! I’m chuckling because I myself have rented cars, and viewed talk shows!” No. Nobody is thinking that. Somehow these ads just manage to cheapen the entire human experience and that doesn’t make me want to rent car.

Were Hertz ads always this bad? Let’s see:

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Shit. OJ, huh? That didn’t age well.

At least in their really old, old ads they just dropped people into moving cars:

I’ll be honest, I’m still not entirely sure why I’m struggling with these ads so much. I know that I’m going to fling my laptop, frisbee-like, through a window if I have to sit through one again, but I still don’t think I’ve locked onto just why it is, or what it is about these ads specifically that affect me so. I’m happy to listen to your advice in the comments, unless it’s that I should seek out my clergyperson, because they won’t return my calls anymore just because I should “know better” than to do what I did last time as a member of “society.” Pfft.

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Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
4 months ago

Agreed! moment I see these on youtube hitting the refresh, I’ll watch 3 other unskippables than sit another 10 seconds through one of these!

Geoffrey Reuther
Geoffrey Reuther
4 months ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

Or maybe we just bring back Head On commercials. Those were somehow less irritating.

Ben Novak
Ben Novak
4 months ago

I’d prefer it if Hertz would just stop paying large amounts of money (I’m guessing) to professional athletes – who are already making big bucks – to promote their cars. Then, maybe they could lower their rental rates a bit? (Oh, who am I kidding. They’d never do that! Ha, ha!)

Oh, and did you watch that oldest Hertz ad? They used to let you finance your rental car payments for up to 20 months?!? Suh-weet! With interest rates over 20%, probably! Sign me up! Then, your spur-of-the-moment decision to rent a car and drive to New Orleans just so you can stop in the middle of an intersection where you’re blocking a parade in progress (which isn’t legal, by the way) could ultimately cost you the same as 4-year in-state college tuition. A bargain!

10001010
10001010
4 months ago

There’s certainly more than 2 of these commercials because I’m sure I’ve sat through them. They’re annoying to be sure but be thankful that you’re outside of the market for the HEB/Astros commercials. Those are just painful.

Instagr.am/JakobKsGarage
Instagr.am/JakobKsGarage
4 months ago

Had to watch that whole OJ thing to see if he drove off in a white bronco seen from above

Andy Carlson
Andy Carlson
4 months ago

If you find out Torch please let me know. I also hate them

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
4 months ago

Proper computer maintenance, and trustworthy add/privacy blockers avoids this annoyance. Now if we could get the US to outlaw drug advertising like the EU does, I wouldn’t have to change channels so often when watching antenna TV

Vee
Vee
4 months ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

No joke, about a week ago when talking to family members as they were watching TV, I noticed on the TV behind me that there were eight commercials, five of which were drug ads. Stuff for heartburn, bipolar disorder, COPD, bent dick disease, and psoriasis in that order. The other three commercials? A Medicare Advantage ad, an anti-identity theft ad, and a life insurance ad.

Way to remind people that they’re sick, could die easily without treatment, and could get fucked over for the rest of their lives by the hospital leaking their information, television network.

Last edited 4 months ago by Vee
GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
4 months ago

I feel like the only person who hasn’t seen them. I won’t watch now either, in hopes that by saying that I won’t watch them, I’ll manifest them supplanting the incessant Liberty Mutual ads I get all the time.

Data
Data
4 months ago

Emu and Doug approve.

DialMforMiata
DialMforMiata
4 months ago

No real mystery here. They’re loud, annoying ads starring a genuinely overexposed celebrity that “parody” the most execrable form of pseudoentertainment our culture has managed to cough up. I guess it could be worse, at least they’re not parodying “Real Housewives”.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
4 months ago

Hertz: We want to lock our customers up for life.

And Tom Brady won seven Super Bowls, Hertz, not five. How old was that write up?

Droid
Droid
4 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

yup he has won 7 rings and 5 MVP awards.
personally, i think Troy Brown deserved 2002 MVP.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
4 months ago
Reply to  Droid

No argument here.

Kevin McCraw
Kevin McCraw
4 months ago

I can’t help get rid of the commercials, but Advion for Roaches (make sure it’s for roaches—they make a product for ants) got rid of mine. I don’t recommend very many products, but this shit works. They were here, now they’re gone.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
4 months ago

Wait…

Did Torch just get all of us to watch a couple of ads for Hertz?!? Is this some sort of new revenue generator for the site?

Is my paranoia getting out of control?

DialMforMiata
DialMforMiata
4 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Yeah, but it’s not like they actually make me want to rent from them.

DEcarTrouble
DEcarTrouble
4 months ago

Does Hertz now offer a complimentary lawyer with a rental? You know the one to represent you when you “steal” the car 5 minutes after renting it.

And as good at Tom Brady was at football, his acting is the polar opposite even if the idea is to make it as ridiculous as possible. YouTube kills me with these commercials.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
4 months ago
Reply to  DEcarTrouble

They remind me of when Saturday Night Live has an athlete host who can’t really act but still works as hard as he can to stumble through the sketches. Like, C for effort, but clearly out of their element

DEcarTrouble
DEcarTrouble
4 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Pretty much exactly what came to mind when I first saw the commercials.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
4 months ago

Could it be that Tom Brady is one of the most unlikable people to ever breath oxygen?

Mike
Mike
4 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

Came here to say just this. And I’m a life-long Patriots fan.

EPGCivic
EPGCivic
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Could be worse, I remember when they were shoving that 80 for Brady movie down our throats. Was insufferable.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
4 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

Yes. And that he’s doing a parody of Tom Cruise’s psychotic “I love my wife!” Oprah performance, which is itself unbearable.

Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour
4 months ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

I think it’s because, like Tom Cruise, Tom Brady has that “hello fellow humans, I am here to do human things like renting a car” vibe to him.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
4 months ago
Reply to  Pisco Sour

100%!

Beceen
Beceen
4 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

European here – why is he so dislliked? or is it sarcasm I didn’t get? Funny thing, but the only moment I heard about mr Brady was when listening to Scamfluencers episode about him and some alt medicine coach (Guerrero?). Really surprised this superficial knowledge comes in handy on the Autopian;)

Mike
Mike
4 months ago
Reply to  Beceen

If you’re a fan of whatever team he’s playing on, he’s not disliked at all… but for the other 31 teams, you’re rooting against him.

Personally, the vibe I got (especially toward the end of his career when his skills — like anyone’s — were starting to diminish) was a level of infallibility. You may be the greatest quarterback to ever play, but don’t act like you’re perfect 100% of the time.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
4 months ago
Reply to  Beceen

He’s overexposed. He is (or at least was) a Trump supporter. He says ridiculous shit like he doesn’t eat chickens because chickens are cranky and somehow it would affect his mental state to eat a cranky animal. His veneers are obnoxious. I could go on.

Beceen
Beceen
4 months ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

I see, thanks for context.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
4 months ago

Its because its scripted “sincerity” to cynically sell you on services you don’t need using an appeal to authority using someone with no relevant authority, only mass appeal.

Last edited 4 months ago by Pat Rich
Frackle
Frackle
4 months ago

It’s funny to do a parody of the Tom Cruise Oprah interview like 20 years after the fact. I’ve seen these ads waaay too much to not hate them but it’s a good bit for an ad.

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
4 months ago

You aren’t the only one.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
4 months ago

Part of it is the repetition, they play constantly on YouTube (in alternation with Best Western’s It Takes Two ads), see something enough and you’ll get sick of it

Part of it is that the concept of a fictional talk show that exists solely to interview Tom Brady about how much he likes Hertz is just too much of a stretch to really work

And, part of it is that Brady, frankly, isn’t terribly charismatic on camera, O. J. Simpson has it, whatever “it” is, he really doesn’t. I know casting him was supposed to recall the famous OJ association, but with a more current player that younger audiences would be more likely to recognize (hence why they didnt just bring back OJ), but he’s just not the one to pull it off.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
4 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

The few ads that Brady has been in that have worked usually play into his somewhat polarizing personality. While I respect the accomplishments, he’s not exactly a favorite of many outside New England (obviously). So as far as endorsements go, it’s odd, especially with the way they decided to use him.

Data
Data
4 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

I suspect there are many reasons Hertz decided to not to call up the juice, even if the glove did not fit.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
4 months ago
Reply to  Data

Yeah, he does seem to be pretty happy with retirement

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
4 months ago

Tom Brady?
Is he the one in the lower left-hand corner?

Maymar
Maymar
4 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

Hey, those Bradys were a Mopar family.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
4 months ago

If the only goal of a campaign like this is to be remembered… mission accomplished?

The only logical reason I can think of for how these grating commercials came to be is that Hertz focused grouped this thing to death based on one particular demographic that they wanted to target. Which, based on the combination of Tom Brady and daytime talk shows, I assume female boomers? But then, why beat up the entire populace with this trash? Why not just put these on during the Price is Right block between the Life Alert and reverse mortgage commercials?

The other explanation is that Hertz is a trash company with a trash marketing department.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
4 months ago

Consumer Cellular outbid them for that spot, so off to youtube they went.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
4 months ago

They should be called “Hertz Let’s Go To Jail” with the way they keep reporting their customers falsely stealing cars.

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
4 months ago

The ads themselves don’t bother me, but the frequency at which they pop up on YouTube drives me crazy! For a while, I was getting a Hertz ad every time I watched a new video.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
4 months ago

Ads can, should be and have been art. British television commercials in the eighties and nineties were minor masterpieces. It’s no coincidence a lot of their directors all ended up in Hollywood: Tony and Ridley Scott, Alan Parker, Adrian Lyne, Simon West, Tony Kaye and Jonathon Glazer off the top of my head.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
4 months ago

Every Hertz ad causes me pain.
The old OJ ones cause a sharp stabbing one.

David Davison
David Davison
4 months ago

Orji? Say it out loud, just once. Or have I lost it?
Note, I have no issue with someone being named Orji.
But the writers had a choice and are targeting a mass market.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
4 months ago
Reply to  David Davison

This was my immediate takeaway. I saw her name on the screen and immediately asked myself why this TV show host was named Orgy.

DialMforMiata
DialMforMiata
4 months ago
Reply to  David Davison

Was going to mock it too, but the actress’s actual name is apparently Yvonne Orji.

David Davison
David Davison
4 months ago
Reply to  DialMforMiata

Ill bet she gets a lot of unwelcome comments.

Drew
Drew
4 months ago

They really are aggressively terrible ads. It’s like they know rage will permanently imprint the brand into both your brain and soul and figure that remembering the name of a rental company is what it takes for you to rent from them.

But what really gets you to choose a rental car company is proximity to your arrival gate at the airport. And price. If I could just never remember a rental car company and choose one for each trip with zero memory of previous trips, I think I’d have a better view of them overall.

Last edited 4 months ago by Drew
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