O.J. Simpson Ran Through Airports as the Spokesperson for Which Company? The name O.J. Simpson is etched in the annals of advertising history as the former spokesperson for a company that revolutionized the way car rental services were perceived. For more than a decade, Simpson’s charismatic presence in commercials, running through airports, represented the epitome of speed and efficiency. In this article, we will delve into the iconic partnership between O.J. Simpson and the company that sought to showcase the swiftness of its service to a predominantly white audience – Hertz Rental Cars.

O.J. Simpson Ran Through Airports as the Spokesperson for Which Company?
O.J. Simpson Ran Through Airports as the Spokesperson for Which Company?

The Rise of O.J. Simpson with Hertz

In 1975, Hertz, under the guidance of the Ted Bates & Co. ad agency, sought to redefine the perception of car rentals among businessmen. To achieve this, they aimed to project the image of speed in their service. That’s when the agency spotted a magnetic personality on television that perfectly embodied the essence of their campaign – O.J. Simpson. Fresh from winning the competition on ABC’s “The Superstars,” Simpson’s athletic abilities and charming demeanor made him an ideal fit for Hertz.

The Unforgettable Commercials

The Hertz commercials featuring O.J. Simpson were nothing short of a sensation. The marketing strategy was a hit, reaching astounding heights in terms of consumer impact and brand recognition. Surveys indicated a significant increase in people associating Hertz as the first rental car company that came to mind, and the message conveyed in the commercials was retained in the minds of viewers. An impressive 97 percent of the audience grasped the essence of the commercials.

O.J. Simpson’s Impact on Advertising

The success of the Hertz campaign paved the way for future advertisements featuring star athletes. O.J. Simpson’s popularity as a spokesperson extended well beyond his NFL career, making him the most sought-after athlete spokesman for years. His unique ability to connect with audiences, both on and off the field, set a precedent for the idolization of athletes in the world of mass advertising.

The Racial Aspect of the Campaign

While the Hertz commercials undoubtedly showcased O.J. Simpson’s universal appeal, the racial aspect of featuring a prominent black athlete in such a major campaign was not overlooked. The advertisements strategically omitted other black individuals from the scenes where Simpson ran through airports, emphasizing that the endorsements were based on his universal appeal rather than being positioned as “black endorsements.”

Legacy of the Hertz Campaign

The Hertz campaign featuring O.J. Simpson remains one of the most iconic and successful advertising endeavors of all time. The ads effectively capitalized on Simpson’s persona, charm, and athletic abilities, leaving a lasting impression on viewers. Even today, the campaign stands as a shining example of creative marketing that resonates with the audience and elicits smiles.

The Power of Star Athlete Endorsements

The rise of O.J. Simpson as a commercial superstar coincided with the emergence of mass advertising and the growing idolization of athletes. The Hertz campaign showcased the potent combination of a celebrated on-field talent with an impeccable off-field image, making Simpson the perfect spokesperson of his time. This success, in turn, opened the doors for other companies to collaborate with star athletes in their marketing campaigns.


The question of “O.J. Simpson ran through airports as the spokesperson for which company?” is one that holds a special place in the history of advertising. The answer lies in the groundbreaking collaboration between O.J. Simpson and Hertz Rental Cars, which redefined the car rental industry and set new standards for effective marketing. Simpson’s commercials left an indelible mark on the minds of viewers, creating a legacy that endures even decades later. The campaign’s triumph proved that associating with successful and beloved

personalities can significantly enhance a brand’s image and success. O.J. Simpson’s journey from a sports star to a bona fide celebrity was indeed accelerated by his iconic Hertz campaign, and the impact of this partnership reverberates throughout the advertising world. The lessons learned from this historic collaboration continue to guide advertisers and marketers in their pursuit of captivating and effective campaigns. The story of O.J. Simpson’s airport sprints will forever be remembered as a milestone in the world of advertising, showcasing the power of creativity, charisma, and cultural resonance in shaping successful marketing endeavors.

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