SoFi’s surprising entrance into the Super Bowl-commercial world was only the beginning of a major brand push from the alternative lender.
While entering into the big leagues of advertising cost the company 20% of annual budget, it was worth the money to SoFi, the company said.
An article in Quartz by Ashley Rodriguez on the fin-tech company covered why the company thinks that now is the right time to go big:
With all this going on, 2016 seemed like the perfect year to introduce SoFi to the masses, the company said.
“The Super Bowl seemed like the best bang for our buck in terms of really being able to control our messaging while reaching the largest number of people,” Meg Ciarallo, vice president of brand marketing at SoFi, told Quartz.
In a follow-up interview with HousingWire, Ciarallo said that 2016 is a "pivotal year" for SoFi.
"We’re expanding beyond lending to help financially responsible people reach their money, career and relationship goals,” Ciarallo said.
“For example, we’ll soon launch wealth management services, and we are significantly scaling our entrepreneurship and career services programs,” she added. “While the marketing campaign is a large investment, now is the right time for SoFi to be increasing consumer awareness at a large scale – we have 120,000 members who want to SoFi, who don’t want to bank. We’re confident there are millions more like them.”
And the Super Bowl is a gateway to land potential membership growth. According to an article in CNN Money by Frank Pallotta and Brian Stelter, Super Bowl 50 was the third most watched broadcast in U.S. television history, averaging 111.9 million TV viewers.
“The goal of the campaign is to increase broad awareness and celebrate our members, which is why real SoFi member Brandon Williams is featured in the Super Bowl spot,” Ciarallo said. “Brandon represents the qualities than many SoFi members embody – and the ad is one step in helping consumers understand what SoFi’s all about.
“The full marketing campaign is designed to introduce consumers to a better way to approach personal finance -- or as we’re calling it, to SoFi. The campaign includes six more commercials, each featuring a different member. Including two who have SoFi mortgages,” she said.
From here, Ciarallo said, “We’ll be continuing to expand our product set with the addition of wealth management and more to come later in the year. We’re scaling career services and support and have now helped more than 165 members find employment after they lost theirs, and more than 50 fledgling companies have been supported through our Entrepreneur Program – those numbers will continue to grow in 2016.”