Multi Marketing: Twitter Bowl – Esurance and JCPenney

I’m sure most of you watched at least part of the Super Bowl this past Sunday. Let’s be honest, the ads were the best part of that whole event. In case you missed Callie’s post on the best commercials, you can see that one here.

Most of the major brands spending millions of dollars on these TV ads put a small graphic at the end of their commercials with a hashtag they want to see people start using. One of Budweiser’s commercials ended with #PuppyLove, but you didn’t see that tag go viral. Esurance, on the other hand, saved the $1.5 million more that Budweiser paid for that spot by taking out an ad right AFTER the Super Bowl. In return, they were able to give away that $1.5 million to one lucky tweeter. This strategy led to over 2 million tweets with the hashtag #EsuranceSave30, and was the top trending topic in the U.S. through Sunday night and Monday morning. Esurance saw their Twitter following go from 8,900 to 269,000 over night. Say what???? Yeah, they spent the same amount of money as those who had the major ad spots, but they won the Twitter Bowl hands down. If you missed the Esurance commercial, you can watch it below.


JCPenney, on the other hand, decided to forgo the traditional expensive TV commercial spot and attempted to create their own narrative on Twitter. The idea was to tweet about the game with a lot of misspellings and grammatical issues to get some attention and then tweet a picture of their mittens saying they are tweeting with mittens. This might have been a good idea had their tweets not looked similar to those of someone who got a hold of one of their friends’ phones while inebriated. Kia, Doritos and Snickers took this opportunity to poke fun at the retail giant.


All in all, I’d say that Esurance won this Twitter Bowl about as easily as Seattle defeated Denver in the Super Bowl. There’s a right way and a wrong way to market on social media; and if you’ve got $1.5 million to give away, I’d go the Esurance route.

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