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Esurance stunt proves to be best non-Super Bowl ad

Mark Leiser: I am a PhD Candidate in Cyber Law at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. I have written submissions for the Leveson Inquiry into the culture and ethics of the media and for the Scottish Parliament on the use of social media during trials. My PhD is supervised by Professor Andrew Murray at the London School of Economics and focuses on the effectiveness of cyber-regulation. My research and interests revolve around main areas of Internet law and policy including internet governance & regulation, democracy, social media, privacy, and intellectual property. My PhD research focuses on developing a system of modelling to measure the effectiveness and legitimacy of Internet Regulation. I write in a personal capacity.

Was the most successful marketing campaign of this year's Super Bowl not a Super Bowl ad at all? Esurance gave away $1.5m to a lucky tweeter in a model campaign likely to spur a lot of copycats.

The winner was announced on Jimmy Kimmel last night

It's the biggest show on the planet. The Super Bowl. Say what you will about the quality of the game itself, everyone knows that people tune into the game for the commercials. Or do they? A company named Esurance may have just turned the logic of spending millions on a well-placed Super Bowl on its head with a stunt which will no doubt have marketers considering their options and dreaming up new campaigns in the same vein. What did Esurance do? They didn’t buy an ad during the Super Bowl. They bought the first ad spot after the Super Bowl - saving a whopping $1.5m. With those savings, they created a lottery of sorts. The company gave the money saved to one lucky person who tweeted the hashtag #ESuranceSave30 during the first 36 hours after the ad. Consider the statistics released by the company: • 5.4 million uses of the #EsuranceSave30 hashtag • More than 200,000 entries within the first minute of the Esurance commercial airing• 1.4 million hashtag uses in the first hour and 4.5 million in the first 24 hours• 2.6 billion social impressions on Twitter• 332,000 views of the Esurance commercial on YouTube• 261,000 new followers on the official Esurance Twitter account - an increase of nearly 3,000 percent• A 12x spike in visits to the Esurance website in the first hours of the sweepstakesThose numbers may make painful reading for some of this year's biggest spenders.

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