By Matt Gillis
In today’s marketplace, any company looking to create a successful brand presence must turn their advertising efforts to the realm of social media. Consumers are voicing their opinions via online blogs, engaging with companies on Twitter and “liking” the organization’s Facebook page to get the brand’s latest updates. But in order to bridge the gap between such online interactions and traditional print or broadcast advertisements as a fulfillment of a company’s integrated marketing communications, these brands must provide incentive for consumers to make that jump.
While many companies chose the traditional and expensive route of broadcast television advertisements during Super Bowl XLVIII this past Sunday, Esurance, an auto insurance company, combined the use of a television commercial with the integrated communication tactic of online engagement in promotion of a sweepstakes.
The company strategically purchased a television spot for directly after the big game. In the advertisement, The Office star John Krasinski explains that the company is randomly giving away $1.5 million, which is the amount of money the company saved by waiting to advertise until after the Super Bowl, to a United States Twitter user who tweets using the hashtag #EsuranceSave30. The sweepstakes was scheduled to last from 4 p.m. Eastern Sunday until 4 a.m. Eastern Tuesday.
While the sweepstakes was the largest sum of money given out via a Twitter contest, the promotional tactic also generated significant publicity for Esurance due to its successful reception by Twitter users. According to the company’s spokesman Danny Miller, 200,000 tweets featuring the promoted hashtag were submitted within a minute of the commercial’s airing and two million entries were recorded within less than 24 hours into the contest. Esurance increased their Twitter following by 101,100 followers within the sweepstake’s timeframe and was the top trending topic throughout the United States throughout that period.
Last year during Super Bowl XLVII, Oreo released a timely advertisement via Twitter during the game, which made reference to the blackout that occurred during the second half. Both Oreo and Esurance’s advertisements garnered more attention than any televised commercial during each Super Bowl, proving that Twitter is a powerful marketing platform in the world of advertising.
Due to the nature of Twitter, which allows users to easily retweet content generated by others, companies have the opportunity to create viral marketing messages with just a little bit of creativity. Consumers are willing and eager to engage with companies in order to establish a more intimate relationship with the brand. With just a small incentive, like $1.5 million, companies have the ability to reach outside of the bounds of traditional advertising and into the world of social media.
– Luckerson, V. (2014, February 3). Esurances $1.5 Million Giveaway Is Making Twitter Go Crazy. Time: Business & Money. Retrieved February 5, 2014, from http://business.time.com/2014/02/03/esurance-save-30-twitter-contest/
– Rive Holmes, R. (2014, February 6). Winner of $1.5M Esurance Giveaway Announced on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”. KMBZ. Retrieved February 6, 2014, from http://www.kmbz.com/Winner-of-1-5M-Esurance-Giveaway-Announced-on-Jimm/18333353