Whatever Happened to Erin Esurance?

April 01, 2014

The Esurance commercials have centered largely on the unique nature of online-only insurance, and originally featured Erin Esurance, a pink-haired spy-type who avoids the danger of invading robots by…selling them affordable car insurance, we think. Maybe her secret agent powers are limited to getting people affordable auto insurance online.  It’s not entirely clear what exactly the secret agent character had to do with car insurance, but Esurance went for it. The Erin Esurance commercials ran until about 2010, when they were phased out without much fanfare.

Why Did Esurance Get Rid of Erin?

The reason for the demise of Erin Esurance is entirely speculative, but it may be tied to a poll conducted in 2009.  People were asked to rank various corporate mascots on words like “Appeal”, “Annoying”, “Sexy”, “Funny”, or “Sincere”.  When compared to the trio of animated Pep Boys, the Gordon’s Fisherman, and Microsoft’s Clippy, Erin polled very poorly.  She had less overall appeal than any mascot except the Pep Boys, and was more annoying than every mascot except for Clippy.

The one category in which Erin performed well was the “sexiness” category, which may not be surprising since she was up against three disembodied heads, a yellow-slickered fisherman, and an anthropomorphic paperclip with a penchant for penmanship. Still, as corporate mascots go, Erin apparently earned top marks in that category.

Erin Esurance is no longer on television, but there are still a few devotees around the Internet.  In the wake of her cat-suited hijinks and conspicuous pink hair (probably a poor choice for a secret agent, but let’s not quibble), Erin has taken on a bit of an Internet life of her own, though we wouldn’t recommend googling it. Learn why.

Esurance Commercials Post-Erin

Erin Esurance was an in-house mascot, and after she was dropped from the lineup, Esurance hired an external advertising agency and have been making slightly less absurd ads in the last few years. A current ad campaign features people of a certain age who demonstrate a comical lack of tech-savviness.  One woman posted her vacation photos to her “wall” – not the Facebook kind, but the actual structural wall of her house – for ease of sharing.  She also tells us that she saved 15% on her car insurance by spending 15 minutes on the phone.  Her friend, bemused by the entire scene, points out that she saved more than 15% in half the time by using Esurance.  The first woman tells that second that she is being “unfriended.”  This play on the norms of social media is amusing, and pokes fun at GEICO’s “antiquated” way of doing business.

Esurance is targeting GEICO with their new ad campaign, which may be a dangerous strategy.  We are bombarded with advertisements throughout our days, and most of them fade to white noise before too long.  Although the purpose of the Esurance commercials is to point out that a consumer can do better than GEICO, there’s no way to know if that message gets across, or if people are just left thinking about other famous auto insurance icons.

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