Esurance, Cloud Cult Feeling "Lucky Today"
Auto Insurance Company Launches Full-Length, Eco-Themed Animated Music Video for Indie Band's Song "Lucky Today"
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - October 30, 2008 /PRNewswire/ — Esurance, the direct-to-consumer personal auto insurance company, announced the release of a full length music video featuring the eco-friendly band Cloud Cult. The full length video expands on the thirty-second version airing on select TV networks, and is an animated adventure featuring the band's modern bluegrass ditty, "Lucky Today." As part of the company's "Get Animated" campaign, where real people are transformed into animated versions of themselves, the video features all seven of Cloud Cult's members.
- A Harmonious Partnership
Esurance and Cloud Cult met at the 2007 Monolith Festival presented by Esurance and immediately found common ground on environmental interests. Esurance sponsored Cloud Cult's Spring tour, helping purchase carbon offsets and bio-diesel fuel for the band's tour transportation. Kristin Brewe, Esurance's Director of Brand and Public Relations, stated, "When we were introduced to Cloud Cult at the 2007 Monolith Festival, we knew immediately we wanted to work with them. We loved their music, and we loved their environmental message. The partnership has been really positive, and we're glad to showcase such great talent as a part of our efforts to raise awareness about safeguarding our environment."
Esurance wasn't the first company to reach out to Cloud Cult in an effort to license its music. "We've had a lot of offers over the past few years to use our songs in mainstream commercials, but we've always been forced to say 'no,'" said Craig Minowa, Cloud Cult's singer and songwriter. "We're very particular about what sorts of products our songs are associated with, so it's nice to finally meet and work with an environmentally conscious company that meets our standards."
- Good Works Arise from Partnership
Cloud Cult played an important part in the Monolith Festival's second year this fall, playing for nearly 600 children at a charity event at the Cerebral Palsy of Colorado in Denver two days prior to the event. The charity concert was part of the Monolith Reforestation Project, an environmental awareness initiative sponsored by Esurance in coordination with the festival to help plant trees in and around Denver. Cloud Cult also headlined the opening night party at Denver's Bluebird Theater.
- Getting Animated
As with all Esurance ads, San Francisco-based animation studio W!LDBRAIN took on the project of animating the band. Minowa stated, "Working with the animators was fascinating, because they were able to make cartoon clones of us and bring them to life in a cartoon parallel universe. It leaves me wondering what my cartoon counterpart is up to at any given point in time."
Brewe stated: "Animating real people has been a great way to bring new life to the adventures of Erin Esurance, and get the public involved in telling stories about our brand. The Cloud Cult animated commercial and full-length video represent Esurance's creative approach to spreading environmental awareness, in a positive, upbeat way."
- Free Music
As part of the promotion of the partnership between Esurance and Cloud Cult, the auto insurance company created a micro-site: www.esurance.com/cloudcult The site features three free downloadable MP3s hand-picked by Cloud Cult, including "Lucky Today." The other two songs include "Journey of the Featherless" and "Everybody Here is a Cloud," both off the band's latest album, "Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes)," which was released on April 8, 2008.
Brewe stated, "When folks come and check out the micro-site, they're taking the time to learn about the band and about how to help protect our environment. As a reward for doing so, there's not much better than some free music from a great band like Cloud Cult."
Cloud Cult is currently touring the East Coast featuring stops in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Boston. To access tour information, along with the free downloads and environmental tips, visit: www.esurance.com/cloudcult
Esurance, a subsidiary of White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE: WTM), provides personal car insurance direct to consumers online and through select online agents. Because of Esurance's virtually paperless online customer experience, Esurance car insurance customers have saved thousands of trees since the company's inception. Through the third quarter of 2008, Esurance has also helped plant and maintain approximately 70,000 trees by supporting a variety of urban reforestation programs. Esurance is also committed to safeguarding the environment through its own operational practices, including a hybrid claims fleet and investment in renewable energy sources to augment the electricity used in each of its permanent office locations.
Over the years, Esurance's environmental initiatives have earned the company awards and recognition. In 2008, Esurance received two Silver Halo Awards for Best Environmental/Wildlife Campaign and Best Joint Messaging Campaign for Esurance's work with Live Earth on the Save Our Selves (SOS) Campaign. For more information, visit: www.esurance.com/home/environment.asp
About Cloud Cult
Since 1995, Cloud Cult have crafted sprawling, cathartic albums that have won them the attention of the New York Times, MTV, Spin, Billboard, and a devoted following of fans. Despite offers from major labels, Cloud Cult has chosen to remain independent, recording and releasing their albums through Earthology Records, a not-for-profit environmental record label established by the band's founder and songwriter, Craig Minowa, in 1998. On a self-funded shoe-string budget they have achieved top 20 college radio charting for all of their last three albums, a domain usually reserved for the major labels of the world. As one of the pioneering "Green bands" of the modern indie-rock world, Cloud Cult has backed up their open-hearted songs with green action for over a decade. Minowa's Earthology Records has served as an eco-consultant to a myriad of national acts, as well as industry giants like Universal and ASCAP. All Cloud Cult products are 100% post-consumer recycled, and all tours are greened with energy offsets through NativeEnergy.com. In addition, the band has planted nearly a thousand trees to absorb pollutants from travel and manufacturing. Cloud Cult's unique live performance includes live painters on stage and back screen video.