Yeah, I get the joke – old people don’t understand technology. The problem is, the company spends more time bashing the competition than it does marketing their own name. That and they’re ostracizing an entire segment by slamming old people and their inability to use sites like Facebook (pretty stupid for a company that is basically completely online).
Humor is the ultimate marketer’s crutch. If a commercial is seen as “funny”, people automatically assume it is good. Sometimes it works, but usually it doesn’t.
This is one of a series of “funny” commercials by Esurance that swipes at the competition saying that their process only takes 7.5 minutes instead of 15 minutes. The problem here lies in the message. There’s absolutely nothing compelling about the pitch. It doesn’t address the biggest concern that most people have with non-traditional auto insurance companies – quality.
When you go with State Farm, Geico or Allstate, you know that you’re working with a company that’s been around forever and knows how to process claims. There’s an inherent trust that comes with that level of brand identity. Esurance on the other hand is relatively new. They don’t have the long standing reputation that the competition has (even Progressive has a better rep), so that is the one issue they should be focusing on.
The other problem is that very few people like a company that openly attacks the competition. The message that it delivers is that the company isn’t good enough to compete on a level playing field, so it takes cheap shots instead. No one likes a cheap shot. No one trusts a person (or company) that takes cheap shots. And in the case of this ad, the cheap shot is seriously weak. It’s the marketing equivalent of a “I know you are, but what am I” comeback.