SAN FRANCISCO: Esurance revived its election insurance April Fools’ Day joke for Sunday night’s presidential debate, holding a social media sweepstakes, #MakeYourEscapeSweeps, for people who want to leave the country after November 8.
Esurance worked with MSLGroup and Leo Burnett to develop the campaign and handled all social media internally. The sweepstakes, which will run through Thursday, is picking up the threads of its April Fools’ Day joke, when Esurance offered fake election insurance to protect people’s homes while they flee the country for four years.
"The original germ of the idea was we were about to launch our homeowners insurance product and we wanted to tap into the culturally relevant election going on," said Nancy Abraham, VP of integrated marketing communications at Esurance. "We didn't imagine we would get the overwhelming response people had to it. We wanted to leverage the asset; it's a fun way to build on it."
While many brands shy away from politics, Esurance took the opposite approach while also being wary of taking sides.
"We didn't want to be on one side or the other, so we jumped on what we were hearing from consumers and the conversation was around wanting to move away," Abraham said. "Everybody was talking about that and we took that route instead of making a political stance. It made it relevant and personal for people; that was the crux of why this thing was so successful."
The insurance company is giving away $10,000 for a winner to take a trip to their future home after the election. While election insurance is fictional, Esurance is using the campaign and contest to promote its homeowners insurance.
Esurance is promoting the sweepstakes almost entirely on social media, with some paid media to support it. The company is reprising its partnership with Twitter, following its Super Bowl contest last February.
During the debate, the company asked on Twitter where its target audience – debate watchers – would go if their preferred candidate didn’t win in November.
"We try to be relevant, and we do it in a humorous way," Abraham said. "We don’t treat insurance as a silly thing, we do have fun and look for culturally relevant places we can tap into to have people connect to the brand."