Esurance and The Million Dollar Tweet

Twitter Goes Public On The New York Stock Exchange

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It’s often been debated whether the $4 million spent to advertise during the Super Bowl is actually worth the money. Not only is it a pretty penny for most companies to shell out, but you’re also hedging your bets on the game being riveting enough to keep fans in their seats; not just for the entirety of the game, but also through the commercials. And if the game even teeters into lackluster (I’m looking at you, Broncos), you may start to loose eyeballs fast.

While brands that opted for an ad anywhere in the second half of this year’s Super Bowl may have been a little bummed (Once again, I’m looking at you Broncos), one brand in particular easily garnered the most attention of the night, and its ad aired after the Super Bowl was already over.

It was the first ad after the Super Bowl where actor John Krasinski (Jim from ‘The Office’) appeared for the first time, in person, for Esurance, who he’s done voiceovers for since 2011. Sitting next to a giant pallet of money, Krasinski told viewers that running the first ad after the Super Bowl is 30% cheaper than buying one during the game, saving Esurance $1.5 million. So the auto-insurer decided they were giving that sum away to one random person who uses the tweet #EsuranceSave30.

The rules were that simple. Anyone who used the hashtag between 4 p.m. Super Bowl Sunday and 4 a.m. that Tuesday would have their tweet entered for a chance to win the money. The "I could only say about on thisnis paramount to a successful recovery. pitch was that Esurance literally passes on savings to its customers, whether it’s through a contest or its auto insurance.

Suddenly, #EsuranceSave30 was everywhere. By that Monday, 2.39 million people had entered the contest, “EsuranceSave30” continued to trend on Twitter globally, and all the while, Esurance’s Twitter follower count grew from 8,900 to 155,000 (The company has since garnered 175,000 followers).

With one cleverly devised (yet simple) campaign, Esurance got everyone talking, tweeting, and #hashtagging, about its company. If the goal of Super Bowl Sunday is for advertisers to raise brand awareness, then the “EsuranceSave30” campaign hit the proverbial nail on the head.

So what can you learn from this? You can spend all the money in the world and add all the bells and whistles you want, but the trick is to create the kind of emotional experience that gets consumers excited about your brand. What made the “EsuranceSave30” ad so effective was it was subtle, simple, and made people take notice – perhaps more so than the actual game (Still looking at you, Broncos) – making Esurance the real winner of the Super Bowl.

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