Intuit’s three properties, Quickbooks, TurboTax and Mint, are well-known to business professionals and consumers.
Yet only 1% of customers used all three products – and Intuit itself was relatively unknown, with just 6% awareness in the US, said global marketing director Lauren Stafford Webb.
Intuit wanted to message customers that its three products works better together. So it launched its first-ever brand campaign as a four-minute animated digital video rather than going the traditional route of a 30-second spot.
“The typical way of going to market wasn’t going to be the best option for us,” Stafford Webb said. “A company with a 35-year history that never had advertising before deserved to tell the story the right way.”
Intuit first launched the video for its 10,000 employees at a campus event in February, garnering 1 million views before the brand bought any advertising. Shortly after, Intuit placed the video on the YouTube Masthead, Facebook and Hulu.
Four minutes is long for a branded video, but more than half of the film’s 25 million viewers on YouTube watched the entire film. Intuit expected the film, which exceeded YouTube’s average movie trailer for the year on view-through rates, to garner around 7 million views, Stafford Webb said.
“We’re in a really complex category, and we didn’t want to do it in a way that everybody else in the category does,” she said. “Even on YouTube, you don’t see four-minute films, quite frankly.”
Intuit’s creative included GIFs posted on Facebook, a Snapchat augmented reality filter and a Refinery29 partnership to create branded content and connect with influencers and events.
The campaign, Stafford Webb said, targeted a self-employed audience, which will make up 43% of the US workforce by 2020 she added. To find these people, it turned to data from past campaigns for its portfolio brands.
“If you think about running your finances both personally and professionally, there’s a very broad audience,” she said.
Because that audience is so broad, Intuit didn’t limit the campaign to digital. The brand reworked its video and aired it during the Super Bowl this year.
“Rather than just doing a cut down on that four-minute film, which I think is what everyone traditionally would do, we thought through this,” she said. “We hoped that if you saw it we would serve it [online] and get you to engage more deeply with the brand.”
Overall, Intuit saw brand awareness rise 17% and ad recall grow to 26% thanks to the campaign. Brand favorability was up 27%, Stafford Webb said.
For now, Intuit is still digesting the learnings from its inaugural campaign before deciding what’s next. But digital video will play a major role in building its overall brand and driving awareness, equity and conversions across its portfolio, Stafford Webb said.
“We’re still in the initial learning phase,” she said. “We’re focused on creating the best story, but we’re exploring all the channels and optimizing as we go.”