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Who Wins With #EsuranceSave30?

Feb 5, 2014

Regardless of which team you were rooting for, the outcome of Super Bowl 48 was most likely not what you expected.

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Regardless of which team you were rooting for, the outcome of Super Bowl 48 was most likely not what you expected.  The number 1 offense versus the number 1 defense sounded pretty intriguing on paper, but few people envisioned the 43-8 thumping that the “Legion of Boom” dished out to the Broncos.  The lopsided score undoubtedly caused viewers to tune out in the 4th quarter – maybe even earlier.  But those that chose to watch the game in its entirety also got to see one of the best marriages of social media and broadcast television ever.  That’s right… #EsuranceSave30.

In the event you haven’t heard, Esurance – the online auto-insurance company – purchased the first ad slot immediately AFTER the game had ended.  Obviously, not the most coveted slot in terms of Super Bowl ad buys.  So much so that Esurance received a 30% discount on their ad-buy compared to other Super Bowl advertisers.  That 30% discount amounts to roughly $1.5M.  What did Esurance do with that $1.5M in savings?  They’re giving it away, of course.  As John Krasinski explained in the commercial – while sitting in front of a coffee table literally made of money – anyone who tweeted using the hashtag #EsuranceSave30 got automatically entered into a contest to win $1.5M.  The hashtag was used over 200,000 times… in the first 60 seconds immediately after the commercial aired (nice dramatic ellipsis, right?).  According to Nielsen, 1.22 million Twitter users sent out 1.85 million messages using the sweepstakes hashtag, but surely that number has since grown.  Prior to running their Super Bowl ad, Esurance had around 9,000 followers on Twitter.  As of this writing, they’ve reached over 270,000 followers.  Not a bad growth rate.

So who won the $1.5M?  That’s still TBD.  Esurance is making sure to get as much traction out of this campaign as possible.  They’ve asked John Krasinski to announce the winner tonight on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (I’ve already mentally spent my $1.5M – what about you?).  And that’s what makes this campaign so great – how all-encompassing it is.  They took a Super Bowl ad-buy and turned it into a social media frenzy, a sweepstakes and – technically – an entirely separate network television event.  They went above and beyond what any company has done before and they’ve perfectly integrated television viewership and social media.

But let’s switch gears a little.  Aside from the person who actual WINS the $1.5M and aside from the Seattle Seahawks (who don’t NEED an extra $1.5M) – who is the big winner?  Esurance?  Maybe.  That depends exactly how they quantify the success of their campaign.  Maybe they wanted to see a certain increase in sales or a certain increase in website traffic or Twitter followers.  Maybe they hit those expected numbers, maybe they didn’t.  Regardless, I think the bigger winner is Twitter (sorry Facebook).  They did nothing other than exist and surely benefited from the Esurance campaign.  Twitter had 200,000 people logging into their site within a minute after the spot ran to enter the sweepstakes.  That’s 200,000 people in a 60-second timeframe that are logging in, tweeting and seeing other relevant ads and promoted tweets on their feed.  Twitter is getting ad revenue because of something Esurance did.  In the Super Bowl spot, John Krazinski specifically tells users to tweet #EsuranceSave30.  Sure, you can use hashtags on Facebook, but that wasn’t part of the sweepstakes.  Twitter was the only means that people had to enter the contest.  Big win for Esurance?  Maybe.  Bigger win for Twitter?  Definitely.

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  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2018-03-07 21:55:41

    We're glad you found this to be useful, Margaux. Let us know if there's anything we can help with.

  • Margaux Ford Reply
    2018-03-07 05:57:06

    I appreciate the tips on hiring a production staffing company to have more time to focus on the creative aspects of the project. Hiring a production crew is a tedious task, and can take up much of your time. We're currently working on a huge production, and I'll share this article with my boss so he'll consider on delegating the recruitment to a staffing company. I like that you mentioned that staffing company can ensure to have the right team onboard for the project. Thanks!

  • Robert McWilliams Reply
    2017-10-31 19:05:18

    Todd:I have an ad agency in addition to our production company. We put one of our clients on OTT two months ago up in Nevada. Seems to be working!Thanks again for the work earlier this month.Rob

  • Nicole Rohde Reply
    2017-05-27 22:28:45

    Hey Andrew, Any word as to whether or not the Jokers will be back for Comic Con this year? Please let me know. Thanks!!!

  • Aaron Estabrook Reply
    2017-02-23 16:26:57

    I'll be tuning in for sure!

  • David Patton Reply
    2015-01-16 13:16:02

    Interesting blog post Andrew. For those who are nearly ready to cut the cord, but still want access to key channels such as ESPN, I'd recommend checking out Dish Network's new service, Sling TV. It provides access to a handful of channels for $20/month.https://gigaom.com/2015/01/15/sling-tv-details-price-devices-networks-resolution-bandwidth/

  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2015-01-13 14:44:19

    Go for it! I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about pulling the plug at first, but honestly, the transition away from DirecTV has been seamless. The only missing link is live sports, but there are a few work arounds depending on what sports you watch. Good luck!

  • Gregory Hart Reply
    2015-01-13 06:35:00

    While I am part of the 55 year old demographic that still has TV boxes and does TV viewing, I do my viewing using DVRs and networked PCs playing video files from an in-home server. I too have noticed that I view a handful of shows on a regular basis and have found various other sources for these shows. And now it has gotten to the point to where I am seriously considering ending my very long relationship with DirecTV and going streaming. Working in the TV industry also helped to open eyes to this as well. This transition from "old" TV is coming and the networks (Les Moonves, I am looking at you!) had better plan for it.

  • Gary Reply
    2013-08-08 09:44:39

    You've left out a HUGE part of this story by not mentioning Howard Stern's effect on the Sharknado buzz! #siris-ly

  • Marybeth Harrison Reply
    2013-08-07 14:46:29

    I can almost hear the theme song from Jaws as I read your post!