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Addendum: In case you're wondering how to rank the sex quotient of animated cartoon characters, here is a handy guide. On a scale of 1 to 10:

Cinderella's wicked stepsisters: 1 (not sexy)

Cinderella herself: 6 (pretty sexy)

The Little Mermaid: 10 (very sexy)

On this scale, Erin Esurance rates an 8. Sexier than Cinderella, but not as sexy as the Little Mermaid. The reasoning behind this conclusion is that the Little Mermaid undulates. Erin Esurance does not undulate.

Now, if Erin were to wear a scuba suit ...

Like, say it's a takeoff on the underwater battle in Thunderball ... speargun, sharks, bad guys scooting around a shipwreck ... maybe they're searching for the blue diamond from Titanic ... while talking about car insurance ...

At the end the bad guys get trapped in the ship's hull with a hungry shark while Erin and her boyfriend jet off with the diamond ...

Kristen Brewe, call your office!

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You are totally and completely incorrigible! LOL!
Tell me when you find those sex tapes! Later, Di

I always though Ariel had a beautiful voice. . .

Matthew,
Be careful what you wish for, Ariel's voice is one of "us" - Jodi Benson, a Fundamentalist Christian :) We're everywhere, Bwahahaha!

Suzie,

We're all one of us . . .

The belief in separation is the "original sin" which leads to the "fall" from the Eden of wholistic awareness to the painful condition of apparent duality and the illusion of self.

A deeper reading of most religious scriptures as well as near-death experiences points to this truth. For example, from Christianity:

"inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of these, ye did it unto me".

Wait a minute. If we're all one, does this mean I'm Laurie Dhue?

Because in that case, I have the hots for myself.

Hi, I'm Kristin Brewe.

Michael, Thanks so much for your nice piece. Glad you like the ads. Our mission: to stand out & try not to bore you. Auto insurance is really boring and tedious enough, right?

I say "our mission" as I'd like to clarify a main point that Mr. Stevenson's article got slightly wrong, though there were more than a few errors and omissions for sure.

Though I did come up with the concept and still write the scripts (with big assists along the way from someone I'll mention in a moment), I do not design the ads at all. That's the work of the wonderful animation studio, Wild Brain, and all the amazing talents there, particularly Phil Robinson. No one could ask for a better creative partner, and nothing would be possible without him, nor without the work of everyone at Wild Brain. It's a true collaboration.

When we launched the ads in July 2004, it was a big risk. We were a pretty unknown company, an insurance company no less, and it was the first time we advertised on TV.

A lot of other insurance companies and companies in general would never have wanted to take the pretty far-out step of having an animated pink-haired spy selling auto insurance-- with a serial storyline thrown in the mix. Esurance did, and I say that as a credit to everyone here: decision-makers (particularly my boss, the CMO), my colleagues who work in our media department, and everyone else I work with at Esurance.

It would have been easier and much more comfortable for us all to play it safe and do something really traditional. As you noted, that wouldn't have been as effective in the long-run, particularly because we were a relative unknown, and because there are more than plenty of forgettable, boring insurance ads on TV.

In terms of what is effective, two years later, based on year-over-year premium growth, we're one of the fastest growing auto insurance companies in America, if not the fastest growing. So, results-wise, I guess Erin the pink-haired spy was worth it.

And beyond results, it's been really cool to see that quite a few people really like the campaign, and that it has stimulated a lot of individual creativity. People create their own character art (yes, sometimes it can be a tad risque), role-play as Erin on MySpace, and submit their dream storylines to me. (Love the Thunderball reference, by the way, as my father inculcated a love of James Bond at an early age. I also love sharks. Who doesn't? That could be a really great Erin ad.)

One of our recent faves in terms of individual creators is a mash-up someone made of our ads and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" set to the tune "There She Goes." That's on YouTube, and definitely worth a look.

So, in spite of the fact that Mr. Stevenson is not a fan, we're definitely going to keep going! In addition to a slew of new ads, we're doing a long-form piece (a few minutes long) that will debut in January and that is going to rock!

Thanks for the forum, and for your support. I wish you all the best in your own writing career.

Stay tuned...
Kristin

P.S. My parents, since they're the ones who named me, asked me to point out that Mr. Stevenson had a fundamental error in his piece; he misspelled my first name. (My name is spelled with an "-in" not an "-en.") I told my parents that this was my fault, as our advertising was so confusing, it was bound to distract Mr. Stevenson from a variety of details. So, my apologies to Mr. Stevenson for the confusion caused, particularly since it seems to have impeded his journalistic powers. I wish him the speediest of recoveries!

Kristin,

Thanks very much for dropping by! It's quite a coup to have you join our little world.

I really do like the Esurance ads, and I'm glad you're doing well with them. Don't worry about the snarky Slate piece; that guy just didn't get it.

Thanks also for giving credit where it's due. Wild Brain lives up to their name; they're doing some amazing work (and I say this as a longtime animation aficionado who regrets the loss of cell animation in Hollywood features).

Keep the great ads coming. Now get to work on those sharks! :-)

Best, MP

Wait a minute. If we're all one, does this mean I'm Laurie Dhue?

Because in that case, I have the hots for myself.

It's more precisely like:

You're the Awareness watching the character of Michael Prescott having the hots for the character Laurie Dhue. And also the Awareness watching the character of Laurie Dhue. And the Awareness watching everything else unfolding.

And now I think I'll go google Laurie Dhue and see who she is!

Matthew: If we are all one, is love for another not then mere egoism?

http://www.jabcomix.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1143062409

Scroll down for what you have been looking for

The belief in separation is the "original sin" which leads to the "fall" from the Eden of wholistic awareness to the painful condition of apparent duality and the illusion of self.
- Matthew Cromer

I think the whole purpose of life is to experience separation. From the moment we are born till the day we die, life is a never ending lesson in separation. Why? Because "heaven" is a place where the feelings of connectedness and oneness are so overwhelming, due to it's holographic nature, that becoming a separate, unique, individual may be the only thing that can't be accomplished while existing in "heaven." Life is a never ending lesson in separation. It seems to be an inherent property of the Universe.
Why We Are Here by Art:
http://www.nderf.org/holographic_universe.htm - Art

Hi, "Topless Erin" (if that is your real name),

Thanks very much for the link. Indeed, I now can die happy.

Whoever did that drawing is really quite a good artist. I'm impressed.

The nipples might've been a little exaggerated, but I'm not complaining.

TMI Michael, TMI!

:-)

Rock ON!

(Erin's alter ego)

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