Ad rant

Esurance still uses her on their site, but now she's dressed in business casual, where she used to be in latex.

My loathing for the current suite of esurance commercials has reached a tipping point, and so here I am, prepared to bitch and moan about them in such a way as to reveal an unhealthy investment in something I should just be ignoring.

I see from the esurance website that this campaign launch coincided with revamped brand identity, back in June 2010. In June, I was blissfully unaware that these changes were afoot, and was watching – I don’t know…Work of Art? – with impunity. One of two things has occurred. Either esurance has stepped up the campaign to ubiquity levels, or these commercials have finally broken through my interest barrier and now I see them wherever I go.

Their principle sin, to me, is that they just aren’t funny, which is clearly the mark they’re aiming for. The press release says that they abandoned their pink-haired anime girl for this daily office drivel in order to show the “human side” of esurance. This “human side” is dominated by a bland, overly made-up 40-something guy who goes by the moniker “The Saver.” The commercials attempt to imbue The Saver with a series of improbable attributes (ie, weekend DJ), the purpose of which, I guess, is to make us, as consumers, feel as if we know him as well as we do an old school personal agent of the type who operates a State Farm or Allstate franchise.

This is so that we can, as they say, have technology when we want it and people when we don’t. I actually like that tagline well enough. It resonates with me as a consumer of just about anything, especially banking. When it comes down to it, though, I don’t want these particular people. Like, ever. I’d rather spend time with Flo the Progressive kook, and those commercials have been on my list for way longer than these.

Man. Insurance commercials. They’re almost uniformly awful. S thinks the crop of make-a-wish State Farm commercials are OK, sometimes funny. I think they’re stupid. I never watched 24, so when the guy from there started showing up in Allstate commercials, positioned in such a way that it was clear I should know who he was, I was just baffled and annoyed. Is it Farmer’s that has J.K. Simmons? I like him, but think the material is beneath him. Then there’s Geico. I read an interesting analysis of Geico commercials on I think Slate some time ago that discussed their shotgun approach. They’ve got so many campaigns running at once that it’s hard to hate everything.

The sad thing about esurance to me is that they took a distinctive brand identity – the anime girl – and watered it down to this sort of blue-dominated corporate blah. Their press release makes certain to mention that they’re third in internet-based insurance providers – behind Geico and Progressive, I’d guess – which seems like a pretty sad thing to note. It’s like the mindset of people who have given up. I met with someone the other day about a higher ed product and the first thing she did was apologize about the price. I was all, own it! We can’t sell it if we don’t think it’s worthwhile ourselves. The beauty is that this particular product is distance-based, so if our little market can’t bear the price, big deal. Another market can. I’m simplifying a little bit on that one, but it’s only to make a point.

Anyhoo. I sense this entry spiraling out of control. In summation: I don’t think the new esurance commercials are funny. That is all.


2 responses to “Ad rant

  1. I looked up some of the commercials, and I don’t really think there are terrible (I admit that they probably get old). I’m not into them but I always wonder if advertisers are smarter than they are given credit for.

    Maybe the add is designed to create self hatred.

    related twitter quotes:
    BunnyBlog: Try loving yourself for 24 hrs straight, and see for yourself how every social construct is designed to produce narcissism & self hatred.

    pyromanfo:”Ads will always present you with an unattainable standard of beauty, because if they didn’t, you’d stop buying.” –

  2. Advertisers are very smart. But what do you mean by the ad being designed to create self-hatred?

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