Inside Sherri Shepherd’s cross-country move with Hertz and ‘Oprah-esque’ giveaways

Shepherd moved from Los Angeles to New York to host new show Sherri.

Hertz

Campaign: Hertz. Let's Go!
Company: Hertz
Agency Partners: X2PR (public relations); FKQ (media); and Simone Smalls PR (talent publicity)
Duration: July 22 - August 19, 2022

Los Angeles to New York is a well-trodden path in the entertainment world, as stars move among television studios, stages and film sets in the two cities. So when Hertz learned actress and comedian Sherri Shepherd would be traveling from California to New York to succeed Wendy Williams as a daytime talk show host, the car rental company saw an opportunity to highlight its ability to make such a move “as easy and as pain free as possible,” said Stefanie Dillmore, senior director of brand marketing at Hertz.

Strategy
Hertz decided to highlight Shepherd’s move and new gig because “we knew there was going to be a tremendous amount of media interest,” Beth Balsam, founder of Hertz PR partner X2PR, said.

They also liked Shepherd as a partner because she has a “very bubbly, happy persona. She lives life to the fullest,” Balsam said.

Tactics
Shepherd made the coast-to-coast move in early August. Her new show Sherri premieres on September 12.

Shepherd tweeted about her move, alongside photos of her strong movers.

The company wrapped her moving trucks with a photo of Shepherd, her signature and the hashtag #HertzLetsGo.

On August 8, when Shepherd arrived at the Hertz location in Manhattan, she gave customers Hertz rewards, such as free car rentals and upgrades. She also distributed personal items that would not fit in her new apartment.

“Returning my @Hertz box truck in NYC after its trek,” Shepherd posted on Instagram. “Now it’s time to have some fun at Hertz’ neighborhood location in midtown Manhattan near the studio for @sherrishowtv!”

Balsam described the giveaways as “Oprah-esque moments.”

“There was a lot of really great engagement with Hertz customers at the New York location,” Balsam said.

Before the drop-off at the New York location, X2PR conducted a targeted media outreach via phone calls and emails to entertainment, lifestyle and news outlets, Balsam said. The agency invited media to attend the event and offered interviews with Shepherd.

“A targeted media strategy was the centerpiece of this campaign, and our main objective was maximizing earned media coverage,” Balsam said.

Hertz also posted about the effort on social media.

Results
The campaign received coverage from Associated Press TV; Daily Mail; E!; Entertainment Tonight; People; and Yahoo Life, among other outlets.

The campaign also generated more than 6,800 likes on Hertz and Shepherd’s Instagram feeds and more than 4,600 likes on their Facebook pages.


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