Image of Walter White from Breaking Bad taken from the 2015 eSurance Superbowl commercials

What are you trying to say?

How effective are your commercials?

It’s that time of year again. The snacks are out and the beers are in the ice box, but those aren’t the only things we’ll consume during one of the world’s most viewed sporting events. Super Bowl halftime commercials are something of a tradition, many racking up millions of hits on YouTube and social media channels after the game. It’s a sought after spot. 1 in 3 households in the US will have the game on with audience figures well over 100m people, and big businesses pay big money to secure their place. So let’s look at how a pair of insurance companies spent $9m per minute engaging their audience…

Nationwide Insurance Superbowl Commercial | 2015 | USA


Nationwide wanted to tap into the family oriented and public service segments of the Super Bowl’s audience but their message didn’t quite come across the way that they had intended…

Ad Week branded the commercial a ‘social media nightmare’. Dead kids talking about their dreams that will never transpire is a bit of a buzz kill, especially when the audience are amped up for one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

“This spot is not intended to sell insurance, it’s intended to save children’s lives…”, said Nationwide CMO Matt Jauchius, “…and therefor the decision that we made, which is strategic, is to stage an intervention.”.

The company were [desperately] trying to spin out of the biggest flops in the history of Super Bowl commercials, and it was condemned by some as the worst of all time.

During the very same halftime commercial period, their competitors, eSurance released this commercial…

eSurance Superbowl Commercial | 2015 | USA


eSurance played a blinder. Featuring Bryan Cranston in character as Walter White (from Breaking Bad), they took a contemporary pop culture superstar, used his signature line, and applied it to their brand message… Sorta you isn’t you. They’ve told us what we need to know, eSurance tailor their product for the consumer. It’s an individual service. To top it all off, eSurance’s message was delivered in the right context to the consumer; a cool pop culture reference for a mass market audience.

The moral of the story? Speak to your audience in a language they have already bought into, and do it in an appropriate context. Check out our Digital Marketing Services or contact us to find out more about how your business can connect and engage with your target audience.

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