#Esurancesave30 Makes a Splash

St. Scholastica's Student Newspaper
The Cable
By: Alexandra Crum - Student Journalist -
Photo credit to autoinsurance.org

Photo credit to autoinsurance.org

Online insurance company partners with Twitter to give away $1.5 million

Super Bowl commercials are often watched as closely as the game. Companies pay notoriously high prices to get a brief spot during the annual football game, but one commercial that aired just after the game ended got a lot of buzz this year.

Esurance Insurance Services, Inc, an online auto insurance provider, bought the first commercial directly after the Super Bowl. It featured long-time spokesperson John Krasinski sitting behind a pile of money, and telling the viewers that by buying the first commercial after the Super Bowl, Esurance had saved about 30% of the price, which translated into 1.5 million dollars. Viewers of the commercial just had to tweet #esurancesave30 between February 2nd 1:00 p.m Pacific Time and February 4th 1:00 a.m. Pacific Time to enter a drawing to win the money Esurance had saved.

As long as the tweets contained the requisite hashtag, they could say anything else, and soon diverse tweets came rolling in, with 200,000 in the minute after the commercial aired, according to Time. Some were pleas to win the money, some were descriptions of how the person would use the money, some were completely unrelated to the contest, and some were offensive. Cnet posted some of the offenders on its website such as "Every tweet with #Esurancesave30 is an entry to win? Then let me use this tweet to say: Esurance was founded by Nazi war criminals." Regardless of the content of the tweet, each tweet was equal to one entry, with no limit on how many times a person could enter.

The winner of the contest was announced on Jimmy Kimmel on February 6th. Although most of the details about the contest winner are being withheld for privacy reasons, it is known from the clip shown on the show that he is a newly married man from California with a child on the way. He only tweeted once.

If the response to the Esurance contest is any indication, Twitter may be a marketing platform for more companies in the future. Spokesman Danny Miller told Time that Twitter was "easy, modern, free to sign up, and is a great fit for the Esurance brand."