That's why the pricier your Zipcar, the more low-key its branding. The econoboxes sport jaunty decals on their passenger doors. A 325i has discreet black "zipcar.com" lettering on its trunk lid but nothing on the front or sides. I drove a silver BMW from Boston to Bar Harbor and back over Memorial Day weekend. I caught plenty of guff from Mainers for my Massachusetts license plate, but not one word about the URL.
My only beef with the service is they need to wash the cars more often. A rented 3 Series is cool, a dirty one is not. With a bit more bling, Zipcar could erase the stigma from car sharing once and for all. What they need is a halo car—a tastefully posh Bentley Continental GT garaged at AT&T Park for high-rolling Giants fans. How about $100 an hour? At that price, it shouldn't say Zipcar on it at all. It wouldn't need to. People would know.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.