Friday, March 26, 2010

an open letter to Penske

Dear friends at the Penske Corporation,

I know you've been following my blog here since it hit the big time back in December.  So I know you've noticed a couple of mentions I've made recently that I was moving into a new place.  I'm sure you also know, because I rented a truck from you on Tuesday, that the big move finally happened this week.

Thank you, Penske folks, for your affordable truck rentals.  Thank you for the concept of the $14.95 half-day rental, because when one is only moving fifteen miles away and one has amazing friends who will show up in droves to lug one's furniture, a twenty-four hour truck rental is just an unnecessary expense.  Thanks also for trusting someone who has only ever owned compact cars and a small SUV to drive a 15 ft truck.  It was the scariest drive of my life, but at least I can cross driving a moving truck off my bucket list.  Your affordable services definitely made my moving experiences better.

Of course, it wasn't all perfect, but none of that was your fault.  I don't blame you for having more than one rental location in the greater Little Rock area.  That's quite a necessary convenience actually.  And it certainly wasn't any fault of yours that I went to the wrong location to pick up my reserved truck.  If you're thinking that I should have made note of the address when I made the reservation, I couldn't agree more.  I'm sorry I didn't have your organizational and planning skills at my disposal because obviously moving brain couldn't handle one more detail.  I take full responsibility for the things that went wrong with my move.  You held up your end of the bargain admirably.

While I've got your attention here, friends at Penske, let me tell you about a unique marketing opportunity.  About six years ago, my friends Paige and Trey created a game known as the Penske Challenge.  They were driving one of your excellent trucks from Arkansas to California, and in those long hours in the car, they developed a game, wherein participants call "Penske" when they see Penske vehicles on the road.  Players score a point for each successful call (three points for the rare white Penske) and lose a point for calling Penske on a truck that isn't one.  There are special rules for calling parked Penskes at a rental site.  I can consult the Penske Challenge commissioner if you want a full description of the rules.  Anyway I think this game has the potential to really elevate your brand.  In the years since its inception, it has caught on with several of their friends and beyond.  And really wouldn't it be beneficial to your business if spotting one of your trucks made motorists and pedestrians yell out your brand name? 

It's genius, plain and simple.  Obviously Paige and Trey deserve significant monetary compensation for acting as Penske ambassadors all these years, but when you go handing out checks, please remember the friend of your company who brought this idea to your attention, giving your the opportunity to take the Penske Challenge global.  I think it's at least worth the cost of a twenty-four hour truck rental--the big truck for next time, I think. 

I'll be waiting for your call.

Your satisfied customer and future business associate,



  1. Enjoyed the post, and I'm glad that you're back after a too-long hiatus. Still, waiting isn't all bad. It helps one acquire virtues.

  2. Love it! The Penske game has gotten me through many a long car ride. The most recent one, perhaps, was when Erin ran into my room this past summer and shouted, "Want to go to Arkansas today??" Fun times.

  3. Thanks Ellen, for the kind words about Penske Truck Rental. I'm the company's communications director. We're glad you're a satisfied customer. If you'd like to give me a call please feel free to do so my contact information is here: Thanks again for renting with Penske. We do appreciate your business.

  4. Ellen:

    Thank you for your wonderful idea for a Penske game.

    Please think of a way we can put this game in a box and sell it. To properly pay your friends and you royalties for your idea we need to be able to count sales.


    Milton Bradley


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