Sometimes the items donated to Community Forklift come with surprises inside. Have you seen one of these Avis tab buttons before? When I found this one in the bottom of a vintage trunk, they were new to me!

The 1.5″ tab buttons were available at Avis car rental counters and have a little tab at the top that you can fold over to attach the button to your lapel. With the slogan “In any language… we try harder” on the back, the front of the buttons featured the Avis tagline in a variety of languages. This one is in German, but it looks like the buttons also came in Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Flemish, French, Gaelic, Greek, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Tahitian, Thai, and Welsh.

The origin of Avis’s “We Try Harder” advertising campaign is also pretty fascinating. Since it started in the ’40s, Avis had trailed behind the car rental market leader Hertz. In the early ’60s, Avis launched this campaign that used its second place spot to advertise the company’s customer service: “When you’re only No. 2, you try harder. Or else.” The campaign was a huge success and narrowed the market-share gap between the two companies. You can read more about campaign slogan and the rivalry between the two companies in this Denver Post article.


April 2022: Vintage Photos: Summers of Yore
March 2021: Vintage Diet: “Dry Toast” and “Plenty of Steak”
June 2021: A Hidden Treasure Trove of History
April 2021: A Collection of History in More Ways Than One


Every time you donate or shop at Community Forklift, you’re helping us lift up local communities through reuse.  We turn the construction waste stream into a resource stream for communities in the DC region – by keeping perfectly good items out of the landfill, preserving historical materials, providing low-cost building supplies, and creating local green jobs.