Dennis Quaid is the 'highly likable' spokesperson in Esurance's very self-aware campaign

Brand refreshes position and tagline to attract Millennial and Gen X consumers

Published On
Aug 15, 2018

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Nearly two decades into its existence, Esurance is hitting the refresh button with a new brand positioning and tagline designed to attract Millennial and Gen X consumers. The campaign, hitting airwaves Wednesday, stars actor Dennis Quaid as the Allstate-owned brand's new spokesperson.

In the new 60-second anthem TV spot, Quaid explains that he's in a commercial about insurance. "Let's be honest--nobody likes dealing with insurance, which is why Esurance hired me, Dennis Quaid, as their spokesperson because, apparently, I'm highly likeable," he says. He eventually cues up some advertising tropes like overdramatic music, nearly bites into a prop apple and walks off into a sunset.

"If we are going to continue to be a disruptor, challenger brand in the industry, we have to address the pains of the industry as a whole," says Mark Pitchford, an Esurance veteran who was promoted to chief sales and marketing officer last year. He says Esurance spent a year researching consumers' insurance industry gripes, like the category's traditionally high costs, opaqueness and confusing coverage. After streamlining its services, Esurance is now aiming to convey simplicity with the new tagline, "Esurance: Surprisingly Painless."

"The ads are as simple and transparent as our insurance," says Nancy Abraham, VP of integrated marketing communications. Leo Burnett Chicago was behind the effort, directed by David Shane of O Positive.

When Esurance was founded 19 years ago as an insurer built on the digital experience, it was considered an innovator. But now, a host of insurance startups, such as Lemonade and Root, are serving up stiff competition--and scoring venture capital funding.

Esurance previously worked with John Krasinski of "The Office" fame for about six years; Krasinski was primarily featured in voiceovers for the brand and also appeared in one Super Bowl spot four years ago. The insurance brand had used the tagline "Insurance for the modern world."

Abraham notes that Quaid has never been in a commercial before. "We wanted an actor of the highest caliber who is known for more dramatic roles," she says, "but his earnestness and his dryness ends up being unexpectedly funny."

The spot will air in a 30-second cut as well. The campaign includes digital and social supplements as well as a redesigned website. The San Francisco-based insurer has worked with Leo Burnett since 2011. It also teamed with with SapientRazorfish, Starcom and MSL on the new effort.

While Pitchford declined to specify the budget for the refresh, he says, "You'll see us pump up the volume and make sure we deliver." Last year, Esurance spent $39.5 million on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media. The brand grew net written premiums--income from policies after reinsurance costs--by 13 percent in the second quarter, compared with the quarter a year earlier, according to Allstate financial documents.

Credits

Date
Aug 15, 2018
Brand:
Esurance
Agency:
Leo Burnett-Chicago
Chief Sales & Marketing Officer:
Mark Pitchford
VP, Integrated Marketing Communications:
Nancy Abraham
Manager, Integrated Marketing Communications:
Laura Larson
Integrated Marketing Communications:
Brianne Safir
EVP Creative Director:
Brian Shembeda
SVP Creative Director:
Jeff Candido
SVP Creative Director:
Brian Siedband
SVP Creative Director:
Gordy Sang
SVP/Executive Producer:
Denis Giroux
Senior Producer:
Kimberly Cowie
EVP Business Leadership:
Debbie Myszynski
Account Director:
Michelle Scallate
Account Executive:
Raleigh Ward
VP Strategy Director:
Eric Holubow
Music Director:
Chris Clark
Production Company:
O Positive
Director:
David Shane
Executive Producer:
Ralph Laucella
Executive Producer:
Marc Grill
Line Producer:
Rachel Perkins
Editor:
Grant Gustafson
Editorial:
Cutters Studios
Executive Producer:
Patrick Casey
Audio:
Another Country
Engineer:
Peter Erazmus
Executive Producer:
Tim Konn
Color and Finishing:
The Mill
Music:
Butter Music

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