Topical humor works well on Saturday Night Live and every late-night talk show. Why not as an insurance organization’s April Fool’s Day joke? Esurance tried it, and its success has taken first place in the “Viral Campaign” category of the 2016 PR Daily Awards.
Online April Fool’s gags have become a big deal, with mostly tech brands and with a wide array of other organizations working feverishly to one-up each other year after year. In 2016, Esurance took advantage of the U.S. presidential election campaign to launch a new insurance line the day before April 1.
“Election Insurance” would work like this: “If your desired presidential candidate loses and you decide to flee the country, Esurance will maintain your abandoned home while you wait out the presidential term.” A long-form video, several short videos, a series of GIFs and some still images were deployed across paid and owned platforms, including an Esurance microsite created just for the April 1 gag.
The Esurance team also worked with Mashable, giving it an early exclusive. A press release raised awareness in mainstream and business media while paid media build momentum primarily on Facebook. The combination of the clever fake product launch and masterful execution led to a total of 518 million impressions, 6.8 million video views, 304 media placements and a top-trending honor on Facebook.
Congratulations to the Esurance team.