All seven new Esurance commercials are now in rotation on network TV, premium cable outlets and/or the web. Once again, “techies,” the company’s programmers, vie with “feelies,” the Esurance phone reps, over who can serve customers better. These latest :30s mostly feature the characters that were introduced last spring, including Frank the Saver. The spots were created and developed by Duncan/Channon – in partnership with the Esurance marketing team – and produced by Company Films of LA. The director was Fred Goss.
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Duncan/Channon revisits the winners’ circle at the 2011 REBRAND 100 Global Awards, picking up a Merit for the rebranding of Esurance. The prize is given for concept, design and strategy. As explained in the entry package, the revamped identity system and type-only Esurance logo was designed to deliver a singular message: that the company that pretty much invented online car insurance continues to innovate on behalf of busy consumers, always working to make the process of buying or using its products more intuitive, more convenient, more transparent and more friendly. It’s about smartness in the service of simplicity. The Merit award means D/C’s work ranks among the world’s most successful rebrands in 2010, alongside rebrands of Audi, Sprint Nextel and Subaru Australia. D/C won for the Hard Rock rebrand in 2007.
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“This is the toughest award in advertising, because it recognizes an agency’s overall creative excellence,” said Chuck Porter, chairman of Crispin Porter + Bogusky. “To win an O’Toole, one hot idea won’t cut it, an agency has got to be the best over and over and over again.”
Duncan/Channon was this year one of only five finalists for the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ O’Toole Award in the Small Agency category, the third consecutive year the agency has been so honored. (See 2009, 2008.) And because, as Chuck said, this so-called “biggest award in advertising” is not just for one client or one piece of work, congratulations are due once more to the entire D/C staff, the best creative, account, media, planning and production team in the business. Or at least top five. And congratulations as well to Mono, who took top honor.
Esurance was born in the irrational exuberance of the dotcom bubble, with ads featuring an animated super-agent. So it’s not surprising its products succeeded with a youth demo or that, a decade later, focus-groupers dubbed it “cartoon car insurance.” The challenge was to rebrand for a more affluent, discerning customer, to portray a brand that was human, while epitomizing modern convenience, simplicity and stability.
Seven months in the making, Duncan/Channon’s new work for Esurance, one of the country’s leading car insurers, debuted today all over the damn place.
TV spots, part of a new live-action campaign called “Techie Feely,” began airing nationally on the NBA Finals and 40 cable networks, including FX, ESPN, Bravo, Discovery, TNT and A&E, accompanied by a comprehensive interactive and social media initiative. A nationwide out-of-home effort, starring the TV characters, kicks off in late June, along with national cinema advertising. In addition, as part of the launch, Esurance is introducing a new corporate identity, created by D/C.
Annual marketing spend is $100 million-plus.
In a departure from the animated heroics of past advertising, which starred the pinkhaired “special agent” Erin Esurance, this TV campaign introduces the people behind the company, a quirky cast of staffers who seem to have divided their office into a “Techie” camp – comprised of programmers – and a “Feely” camp – made up of sales and claims reps who help customers over the phone. The jockeying for recognition among the groups drives the comedy, while offering a perfect framework for a message about the company’s innovative products and commitment to service – no matter how customers receive it. The tagline, which flips from commercial to commercial, depending whether Techies or Feelies are featured, is: “Technology when you want it, people when you don’t.”
Five commercials have been finished, and production on additional executions is scheduled for early fall. The spots were directed by Fred Goss, who has a stellar resume as director, writer and producer on commercials and ensemble comedies, including his own TV series last year on ABC, “Sons and Daughters.” The production group was Company Films of L.A.
The revamped identity system and new type-only Esurance logo is designed to deliver a singular message: that the company that pretty much invented online car insurance continues to innovate on behalf of busy consumers, relentlessly striving to make the process of buying or using its products more intuitive, more convenient, more transparent and – yes, Feelies – more friendly. It’s about smartness in the service of simplicity.
Duncan/Channon was awarded agency-of-record for Esurance this past September.
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In case you didn’t read about it on NYTimes.com, we couldn’t be more proud to share the news that Esurance has selected D/C as their creative agency of record. The win came after a selection process involving many agencies across the US. The assignment includes comprehensive strategic and creative work, from brand positioning to advertising.
Said Esurance CMO John Swigart (if we may immodestly quote): “We were deeply impressed with Duncan/Channon. Their presentation was on-brief, insightful and inventive. And the chemistry was right, too. We think D/C is the perfect partner to help take Esurance and Answer Financial, our affiliated insurance agency, to the next level in our second decade.”
Said D/C GM Andy Berkenfield: “Whooo-hooo.”
Founded in 1999 and now owned by White Mountains Insurance Group, Esurance has become one of the nation’s top names in direct auto insurance. Currently, Esurance is the third most recognized auto insurance brand among online consumers.
Coming out of Esurance’s DC-led rebrand and, in part, tying into a DC-produced ad campaign, this site had to feel human, inspire trust and demonstrate that the company that pioneered online car insurance has made shopping for car insurance easy all over again.
Muscle beach at the cube farm. Proving that, yes, there are real, live people behind the website.