Esurance Gets Off Track with “7 1/2” Minutes Campaign

Esurance has some really good campaigns that reflect a solid positioning strategy and express a compelling value proposition around saving money online. However, the new campaign misses the< mark by shifting the focus to saving time – 7 1/2 minutes to be exact.

The ads show a regular person – like Larry the bargain hunter, Shirlee the candy crusher, or Larry the out-of-date dad – proudly saying “I just saved 15% on life insurance in 15 minutes.” Then the ad closes with the announcer saying something like “15 minutes is too long. Live in the modern world where 7 1/2 minutes can save you on car insurance.”
Esurance is going up against Geico’s almost 20 year mantra of saving 15% in 15 minutes or less (and paying to have Geico’s value prop aired again and again!). The problem has to do with psychological reference points. Geico’s message is smarter – it says only 15 minutes, implying that otherwise it take forever too get a quote. This leads us to think “what a relief to save so much time!” (even though we don’t really know how much time we’re saving). Esurance on the other hand is explicitly saying 15 minutes is too long and criticizing that as old fashioned; it should only take half that time.
Do the math. That’s a savings of 7/12 minutes. Is spending 7 1/2 minutes instead of 15 minutes really a big deal when it comes to buying car insurance? I think not. Esurance would do better to make the “faster quotes” pitch as icing on the cake, not the cake itself. They have a winning value prop and ought to stick to it. There are better ways to beat Geico.