By Barry Janoff
May 17, 2016: In 2015, when Esurance, an online insurance division of Allstate, unveiled a multi-year alliance with MLB as the league's official auto insurance partner and sponsor for the All-Star Game ballot, it brought along as brand ambassador Buster Posey, catcher for the San Francisco Giants.
Posey last year was named the "Face of MLB" via a fan poll conducted by MLB Network. That title due in part to Posey's alliance with Esurance, which included a TV spot, "Sorta Doctor," under the brand's umbrella "Sorta You Isn't You" campaign.
Posey is back for Esurance in a multi-layered effort that includes TV spots, "What Would Buster Do?" vignettes, Internet, social media and activation prior to and during the All-Star Game in San Diego this July.
The creative is an extension of the new Esurance advertising campaign "Smart People Get Esurance," which is part of the brand platform "Insurance for the Modern World."
"Extending the 'Smart People Get Esurance' campaign into our MLB partnership carries the convention of showing a not-so-smart way to save money taken to an amusing extreme, while also appealing to baseball fans with superstar Buster Posey," Alan Gellman, CMO for San Francisco-based Esurance, said in a statement.
The two 30-second commercials will break over the next week; three 10-second vignettes will launch over the next week, with more to come throughout the season.
As part of Esurance's title sponsorship for the all-digital MLB All-Star Game Ballot for the second consecutive season, people who vote for their favorite players will be eligible for a chance to win a VIP All-Star Week experience in San Diego.
Esurance said that 18 people would win a grand prize that includes round-trip airfare and lodging for them and a guest to the 2016 MLB All-Star Game presented by MasterCard, tickets for MLB All-Star Week events (including the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, MLB All-Star FanFest and the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game) and an MLB All-Star Game jersey. (Details here.)
Posey is expected to be part of the on-site activation, whether or not he is voted to the National League All-Star Team.
According to Posey, "I really enjoy working with the Esurance team. For the second year running, they've been great partners, with a product I trust for my family."
Posey also has deals that include Under Armour and Topps.
The two humorous TV spots, "New Digs" and "Chicken Strips," show Posey seeking to make "smart choices" in order to save money — including sleeping in and doing his personal laundry in the locker room and hoarding chicken strips from a stadium suite, respectively.
In the humorous "What Would Buster Do?" series, the catcher shows how not to make decisions — coming to the plate with an imaginary bat and acting as a "Mime," using a "Bull Fighter" cape in place of a bat and having a temper tantrum as a "Two-Year-Old" when he strikes out. A voiceover explains that Posey would not make these types of bad decsions because, "Buster is a smart person. And smart people get Esurance."
"Last year, we proved that Esurance and Major League Baseball are the perfect team, securing record-breaking numbers for the new, all-digital Esurance All-Star Ballot," said Gellman.
"In the second year of our partnership, fans are going to see an even greater focus on helping MLB fans connect with their favorite teams and players in new, exciting, and smart ways."
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