By Barry Janoff
April 5, 2017: Apparently not content to show up in a hospital to support a couple about to have a baby, Buster Posey is extending his energy by leaving his position behind home plate to roam the neighborhood still wearing his catcher's gear in a new campaign from Esurance.
The multi-media effort, "Pep Talks With Buster," from the official auto insurance sponsor for MLB marks the third year Posey, a three-time World Series champion with the San Francisco Giants, is fronting marketing for the company, breaking on-air and online.
The humorous scenarios, of course, are auto related, including helping a dad install a stubborn car seat and motivating a young driver.
"I always have a lot of fun working with the Esurance team and can relate to many of the situations in the social videos, especially installing a car seat for the first time," Posey said in a statement. "We’ve built a great partnership over the past three years, and they have a product I know and trust for my family."
Esuarnce said "Pep Talks With Buster" would be anchored by a series of TV spots and also have significant reach on Internet, social media and fan activation.
Esurance, a division of Allstate, also said it would return as title sponsor for the all-digital Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot and the Esurance MLB Awards. The company will unveil specific activations associated with the programs later in the season.
"This year, we’ll continue to provide fans unique access to content and experiences that bring them closer to the game they love. We’re also focusing on using creative, data-driven digital strategies to reach the baseball audience with effective, personalized messages,” Nancy Abraham,vp-integrated marketing communications for San Francisco-based Esurance, said in a statement.
"Through our MLB partnership we’re able to connect our brand with consumers through their passion points at relevant, timely moments throughout the year," said Abraham.
In 2015, Posey's debut with Esurance included a TV spot, "Sorta Doctor," under the brand's umbrella "Sorta You Isn't You" campaign ("I’m not your doctor, but we both wear gloves and deliver in the clutch").
In 2016, a "What Would Buster Do?" series of ads found the catcher showing how not to make decisions — coming to the plate with an imaginary bat and acting as a mime, using a bull fighter's cape at the plate in place of a bat and having a temper tantrum as a two-year-old when he strikes out.
A voiceover explained that Posey would not make these types of bad decisions because, "Buster is a smart person. And smart people get Esurance."
According to Esurance, "Pep Talks with Buster" features Posey "giving pep talks to people having self-doubt in everyday situations, like changing a tire for the first time or installing a car seat.
"Buster perfectly delivers these 'meeting on the mound' talks as a metaphor to the confidence boost customers feel with Esurance. From choosing coverage that fits, to settling claims quickly and efficiently, to feeling confident they’re properly protecting their cars, everyone can use a little pep talk sometimes."
Spots being launched this week include "Car Seat Timeout" and "Rookie Driver," with more creative to follow.
In addition, the campaign has an anthem spot, "Buster Posey In Control," that establishes the premise for the ’17 strategy.
"Buster Posey loves being in control," a voiceover says as we see Posey behind the plate during a game. He then breaks the fourth wall. "Whoa, we always do baseball," he says.
The camera pulls back to show the crew and set. "How about a beach," he requests, then sees sand, palm trees and a jet ski delivered to him. "Anything else?" "A sidekick (he gets another guy dressed as a catcher on a jet ski) and maybe a sweet theme song (at which point a rock band appears)."
The voiceover explains, "Buster knows what he wants. that’s why he has Esurance. Their easy online tools make him feel confident he made the right call. That’s insurance for the modern world."
Esurance’s MLB activation this season also includes its second season sponsoring MLB on TuneIn LIVE, TuneIn's original MLB show of record, providing listeners with drop-ins from local radio coverage of MLB games in progress, plus postgame interviews and analyses.
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