Wednesday, February 26

Esurance: Is It OK To Be Competitive?

A challenge question is running through my mind this morning as I think about branded marketing:  is it ok to be hyper super competitive in your messaging?

I "grew up" in marketing at Johnson & Johnson Baby Products, literally.  Worked in baby care, oral care, skin care ... every kind of care.  Back then the answer was "no."  While it was good to be perhaps "aggressive" in advancing your best message forward, it wasn't necessarily ok to be outwardly competitive.  In other words we didn't name names and we didn't hit hard.  At least not too hard.

Evidently esurance (backed by Allstate) didn't grow up that way.  The brand is making a direct assault on Geico, although admittedly they never name them by name.

Geico's claim is "15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance."  The simplicity has done the brand well, or so it seems.

Esurance is attempting to make that look completely outdated and old school.  By going completely online with Esurance, you can save "more than that in half the time."  7 1/2 minutes to be exact; a direct attack.

But there's more.  Esurance is actually taking a direct assault on offline behavior in general, with a series of videos and advertising that highlights the absurdity of staying offline ... translation is that if you are still buying your insurance offline than you are outdated and losing money.

Take a look at this "hold out:"

Or this "offline over sharer:"

While it is overly competitive and is contrary to how I was "raised," I do think it's quite compelling.  The messaging, which is layered in creativity, is dead on with a simple message ... doing things the old offline way simply isn't smart.  You have to keep up and you can save a lot more money a lot quicker using "new school" thinking.

I for one salute the competitiveness.

The only issue is ... what if someone else comes along with a better savings message or something that makes this one outdated?  That's the tricky part of basing your brand on being overtly competitive.

We'll have to take a wait and see on that one!

What's your experience?  JIM

PS - Join us for live tweets during Sunday's Academy Awards on 3/2/14.  We'll be talking marketing at #OscarExp

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