• 02.25.14

With A New App, Esurance Promises To Tell You Tomorrow’s Gas Price Today

The brand’s new online Fuelcaster tool predicts whether gas prices will rise or fall in the next 24 hours.

Esurance got a lot of attention around the Super Bowl for giving away $1.5 million, but let’s face it, that only helped out one guy. The online car insurance broker is now trying to help everybody out by offering up a new online tool to help predict the price of gas.


The Fuelcaster is a mobile web app powered by GasBuddy that uses a proprietary algorithm incorporating pricing signals from industry sources to estimate whether gas prices will rise or fall in a particular ZIP code. It was built by Deutsch LA, within the agency’s program, an in-house product innovation unit for brands to try out inventions and create new digital products for their customers.

The brief from brand was to create something useful for time-poor consumers that doesn’t require them to be an actual Esurance customer. “This is one of the first projects in the product team that has gone from a nugget to real life,” says senior “inventionist” Rachel Mercer. “We started with a 10-day idea sprint that generated a bunch ideas, and were able to have a production-ready application in six weeks.”

Agency creative technical director Trevor O’Brien says the partnership with GasBuddy was a no-brainer. “We tried initially to roll our own data solution but quickly realized there were people much smarter and better positioned to be our data partner,” says O’Brien. “We researched a ton of different data solutions and it was by far the most reliable partner we found, so we focused on creating a usable and beautiful mobile web experience using their API with our own software layer on top.”

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.