Kelsey Miller


The Super Bowl is notorious for being the center of All-American culture and the best ads of the year. Insurance is notorious for neither. With insurance being the least sexy topic of all time, Esurance had to get creative if they wanted to create buzz in the biggest night of the year for advertisers. The company managed it simply by snagging the least sought after ad spot…. after the big game.

The purpose of their social media campaign, #EsuranceSave30, was to simply spread awareness about the up and coming insurance company that targeted tech savvy millennials. What better way to reach their audience than through their favorite channel of Twitter?

Key insights from Mintel Oxygen tell us that if a brand wants to hit a lot of people with advertising at once, the Super Bowl continues to be the best time. According to a study over the 2015 game, “More than 65 million people were talking about the Super Bowl, up by 30 percent from the year prior (2014).” On Twitter, the same study revealed that there were 28.4 million tweets related to the game compared to 24.9 million in the 2014 game.

WARC research suggests that Esurance was a small fish in a shark tank of very well developed insurance companies; not to mention the fact no one likes talking or even thinking about insurance. The small direct insurance brand was also outspent 10-1 in comparison to their big competition of GEICO and Progressive. Their target also enjoys late night television, so partnering with Jimmy Kimmel to announce the winner was another smart move for the young company.

By nabbing the first commercial after the Super Bowl, the company saved 30 percent, or $1.5 million. Thirty percent is the amount they guarantee to save their customer, blowing their competitor, GEICO, completely out of the water. The sweepstakes was simple: tweet #EsuranceSave30 to be entered in a chance to win that $1.5 million Esurance saved. This did not include any offensive tweets that disagreed with company values. The company also had the right to do a background check to make sure the winner was worthy of the prize according to CNET.

Social Media Explorer praised Esurance for their smart social media marketing of making the commercial and the sweepstakes align with the company values of transparency.

“They have designed their model to be able self-service and efficiency. These efficiencies are where savings happen. Kinda like the ad. They made a play for efficiency in buying time at the end of the game and then pointed it out to everyone that it was on purpose and that everyone should save along with them,” the author, Tracey Parsons, explains.

This was by the far the biggest social win of the 2014 Super Bowl. Time found that in the first minute after the commercial aired, there were already 200,000 submissions. Advertising Age reported that by the day after the Super Bowl, the campaign generated 1 billion impressions on Twitter and Esurance’s Twitter following skyrocketed from 8,900 to 155,000. WARC found that the insurance company also saw an increase of business with quotes jumping 43 percent and a 15 percent boost in policies in year-over-year growth for the month of February (Feb. 2013 vs. Feb. 2014).

If given the opportunity, I don’t know if I could make this campaign better. If I had to make a change, I would suggest that the winner of the competition followed Esurance on Twitter and maybe threw in a five-year policy of their choice, just to sweeten the deal. The campaign received so much buzz that Esurance hosted a similar campaign in the 2016 Super Bowl where they are giving MORE money away with the hashtag, #EsuranceSweepstakes.


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