Quaid makes commercial debut in new Esurance spot

Quaid in Esurance's "Surprisingly Painless"

Quaid in Esurance’s “Surprisingly Painless”

The actor’s humorous
performance embodies
the brand’s straightforward
approach to insurance


“I like Dennis Quaid” is a line from a new Esurance spot that made me smile. Aside from the “prop apple,” it’s one of many reasons why the brand’s recent commercial by Leo Burnett — titled Surprisingly Painless — is Reel Ad of the Week.

The highly-likable Quaid walks around Any City, USA (actually LA) explaining why Esurance is on a mission to be painless for consumers. Along the way, he talks about the company’s helpful Coverage Counselors and its easy-to-understand online language. Directed by O Positive’s David Shane, the spot, through approachable humor, compares the often confusing jargon and frustrating complexity of buying insurance with Esurance’s commitment to making the process easy.

“We listened to consumer feedback and heard their concerns loud and clear,” Nancy Abraham, Vice President of Integrated Marketing Communications at Esurance told Reel Chicago. “So, we’re on a mission to make the insurance experience better. We want to be category disrupter.”

She went on to explain, “We wanted to take the same approach with our communications. In other words, make them surprisingly painless and pulling back the curtain on advertising. You expect these pain points and you don’t think there’s any other way. And surprise – there is.” Watch the 60-second spot below:



When asked about using Quaid as spokesperson, the creative team of Brian Siedband and Gordy Sang had this to say, “Gen-X remembers Quaid from films such as Breaking Away, The Right Stuff and Enemy Mine. Millennials love him from The Parent Trap . We felt he could deliver the Esurance message and break through in a fresh and different way. The folks at O Positive and brought a naturalness to his performance – fresh and transparent.” Here is the long-form 1:45 version:

The team added, “Dennis Quaid is American icon. You can’t not like him. He’s a leading man with a 40-year acting resume and range of roles. He has lots of comedy experience. He’s versatile and naturally engaging. When he breaks the fourth wall it’s surprising and believable. Like Esurance.”

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Abraham also told Reel Chicago, “Dennis is totally engaging and like us, wanted to break through and be accepted. People listen to Dennis Quaid and he is credible and helps delivers our message. Breaking down the 4th wall fit so beautifully in our insurance and advertising. He gets the promise we are trying to communicate.”

100%. Quaid’s humorous performance successfully embodies the brand’s honest approach to insurance. I particularly enjoyed how he breaks the fourth wall (as Abraham predicted I would), acknowledging he’s in a commercial and speaking directly to viewers.

The Surprisingly Painless campaign breaks August 20 and includes television, streaming audio, digital, and social media. There are also activations (keeping the campaign theme of surprisingly painless) planned, including Chicago on 8/27.

So, keep an eye out — because Dennis Quaid is likable. And why this ad is Reel Chicago’s Reel Ad of the Week.

Brand: Esurance
Agency: Leo Burnett Chicago
Campaign: Surprisingly Painless

Leo Burnett
   Brian Shembeda, EVP Creative Director
   Jeff Candido, SVP Creative Director
   Brian Siedband, SVP Creative Director
   Gordy Sang, SVP Creative Director
   Denis Giroux, SVP/Executive Producer
   Kimberly Cowie, Senior Producer
   Debbie Myszynski, EVP Business Leadership
   Michelle Scallate, Account Director
   Raleigh Ward, Account Executive
   Eric Holubow, VP Strategy Director

O Positive
   David Shane, Director
   Ralph Laucella, Executive Producer
   Marc Grill, Executive Producer
   Rachel Perkins, Line Producer

Editorial: Cutters Studios
   Editor : Grant Gustafson
   EP : Patrick Casey

Audio : Another Country
   Mixer : Peter Erazmus
   EP : Tim Konn

Color and Finishing : The Mill Chicago

Music : Butter Music

Source: MSLGroup

Contact Colin Costello at colin@reelchicago.com or, follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.