Rocket Man: 5 Questions With Quicken Loans CMO Casey Hurbis

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Rocket Mortgage and Avengers: Infinity War TV ad

Quicken Loans has been gearing up for its first big movie tie-in since ascending to its new status as America’s largest home lender—but it’s not looking for a starring role for itself. Later this month, the Detroit-based company’s Rocket Mortgage business will be enjoying the debut of Avengers: Infinity War after having already released a co-branded TV ad.

Quicken CMO Casey HurbisQuicken CMO Casey Hurbis believes that aligning its Rocket Mortgage brand with the latest superhero blockbuster release will pay off handsomely.

“We’ll find out April 27, but pre-sales of the tickets are smoking hot,” he told brandchannel. So much so that Marvel “moved up the premiere.” The collaboration also will provide Rocket Mortgage with its first movie product placement, which takes place in the opening scenes of Avengers: Infinity War.

We spoke with Hurbis—who joined Quicken from his previous role as head of FIAT Brand North America at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)—about leveraging the Avengers platform, original content marketing and the challenge of staying at No. 1.

What did Quicken learn from the brand’s first movie tie-in, with 2016’s Star Trek: Beyond?

I wasn’t with the brand yet at that point, but in the last 18 months the media world continues to evolve and there is more and more engagement with social and digital. What we’ve built as part of our Rocket Mortgage partnership with vendors is in-depth custom content and extension. We call it going deep—we are going a lot deeper into the digital and social content space in the partnership, bringing in various media partners along the way.

Can you share examples?

Quicken / Rocket Snapchat game Marvel Avengers Infinity WarInternally, we built a game that’s on Snapchat—the second game that we’ve built (see right)—and we have a partnership with Pinterest.

Another thing that we’re excited about that we’ve never done before is a sneak peak on the making of our commercial with Imgur. It was a big, big production, we shot 80% and the other 20% we CGI’d , so we’ve got a really interesting way of showing how the commercial was made.

Why did this particular movie make sense for the Rocket brand?

We had a chance to see a glimpse of the next iteration of Avengers and saw lot of synergy there, even other brands that share the same vision. What’s exciting for us—and you’ll start to see this via some of the promotion—is that this will be the largest ensemble of Marvel superheroes ever put together for a movie. There are dozens; they’re all there. You’ve got Spiderman but also Thanos.

Rocket Mortgage® and Avengers: Infinity War - Benedict Cumberbatch

Are you worried about superhero box-office fatigue?

All indications are that this is going to be (a hit), think about the roll that Marvel is on. We just saw that Black Panther just surpassed Titanic for in-theater box office. We’re coming off the success of Black Panther and now there’s this large ensemble of characters so that anyone who’s a Marvel fan, there will be something in it for everyone.

We were confident 14 months ago when we started these discussions but now that we’ve seen Black Panther … Also, this Avengers  was teased in the Super Bowl and was all over the March Madness NCAA tournament. We’re getting lot of buzz and social sentiment for our campaign. We’re nothing but confident. We launched our campaign during the NCAA finals.

How different is it to market Quicken and Rocket now that you’re on top?

You’re checking the rear-view mirror more and more and working to make sure the distance gets further between you and the next competitor. That’s what everyone is focused on here. And maintaining a superior client experience.


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