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Everything Is Video: Rocket Mortgage Offers Lessons for Success

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Rocket Mortgage and its parent company Quicken Loans have been succeeding with online video since the early days of YouTube, and they didn’t do it by hiring a slick marketing agency and handing over a big budget. They did it by keeping work in-house, staying curious, and working quickly. At the Adobe Summit two Rocket Mortgage execs—marketing creative technologies manager Ryan Mulvaney and director of social media and activation Matt Cardwell—offered tips on taking the unconventional path.

Experiment All the Time

Great ideas can come from anywhere, and Rocket Mortgage is proud that everyone in its organization will be heard, right down to the newest intern. The company is always willing to take a chance on an odd video concept. Its first YouTube video showed an Etch-a-Sketch artist creating an illustration for the Cleveland Cavaliers (which the company had recently purchased). That video went viral with over one million views. Unfortunately, the company had agreed to pay the artist per view. He was cool, though, and agreed to renegotiate when the views skyrocketed.

BlogSoon after, the company brought actual customers into its videos by mailing 100 Flip cams (remember those?) to recent clients. A few guys from the IT department volunteered to edit the raw footage. They showed such an aptitude for video that they were soon tasked with creating the company's first in-house video studio.

Create an atmosphere of curiosity where people feel their ideas are nurtured. Doing so helps a brand understand what's coming next and how they can be a part of it.

Everything Is Video

For the Rocket Mortgage creative team, ideas usually start as video projects and they take an expansive view on what video is: Snapchat, AR, green screen footage, GIFs: It's all video.

One problem they've had to solve is how to market a product that customers can't touch and feel. It's easier to show a new phone than a new mortgage. Their solution was to attach the brand to things that viewers already feel passionate about. By reusing green screen footage from a previous shoot, they were able to quickly create a Snapchat AR college football mascot that fans could access on game days. It was a quick project that kept a lot of viewers engaged.

Rocket Mortgage has also embraced GIFs, creating humorous sports GIFs for football, baseball, and basketball. Impressions often can't be measured since many are in private text messages, but Gifs provide huge organic reach.

Constraints Can Lead to Better Results

Video projects often start with a discussion of the budget, and they often end there, too. Rather than letting a budget control how the video looks, Rocket Mortgage advises marketers to stop thinking about the budget first and start thinking how they can pull off an idea for less. Doing so often creates better results and builds momentum in-house. People get excited about working on an interesting new concept. As the saying goes, pressure turns coal into diamonds.

Photo: Rocket Mortgage has succeeded with branded humorous sports GIFs, earning huge organic reach.

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