Sterling P. Sanders


Off the line


Creative Directior, Idea, Pitch     




To prove that Esurance passes their savings on to customers, we came up with a simple idea. We bought the first commercial after the Super Bowl, which saved us $1.5 million versus the cost of an in-game spot. Then, we took the $1.5 million and promised to give it to one lucky winner. To enter, people simply had to use #EsuranceSave30 on Twitter. Before the commercial aired, we created excitement by teasing the idea on web, print, social media and television.

By using a pallet of money, we were able to show consumers the tangible benefit of being a part of a smarter company. By challenging the efficiency of Super Bowl ads, we were able to create relevant scale. We conceptually and visually represented the benefit Esurance had been espousing for years – Esurance is built to save money, and when they save, they pass the savings on to their customer.

Insurance is an “uninspectable” category with an intangible product filled with messages of arbitrary savings. Esurance is a relative unknown in the category with unaided awareness 350% lower than our strongest direct competitor. On top of that, we were being significantly outspent in the marketplace. Esurance needed higher awareness to be competitive and we wanted to show consumers the impact of smarter thinking and the power of efficiency.

The Super Bowl provides a huge audience but it is crowded and expensive. Our goal was to create a program that would capture the attention of our core audience, self-directed 30-something’s, and encourage them to continue to spread the word. We wanted to create buzz that was inextricably linked to who Esurance was as a company. Not a branded stunt.


Leveraging the Twitter platform and spending a fraction of the other Super Bowl advertisers, in the first 60 minutes we saw 224,000 responses. In the 36 hours after the commercial ran, there were 5.4 Million hashtag uses leading to 2.6 Billion social media impressions. Based on similar efforts against similar projected audiences, we expected a response of approximately 1.8 Million entries. Without requiring follows, our Twitter followers jumped from below 9,000 to over 270,000 in 36 hours, an increase of almost 3000%. We received 550MM Media impressions and “won the Super Bowl” without even being in it.


In the 4 weeks following the Super Bowl, Esurance set consecutive weekly quote records, growing weekly quotes by 50% versus the week prior to the Super Bowl. Esurance also saw its unaided awareness jump from 20% to 26% in the weeks following the campaign as measured on an 8 week rolling average. Sales and daily quote volumes broke records in three consecutive weeks following the campaign. We saw dramatic increases in key brand measures – Brand for people like me, Always coming up with smart ways to do business, Offers best value, Brand favorability, Trustworthy, On its way up, Offers technology to make my life easier and Brand for people like me.