The first-ever ad campaign from Mojo had a significant hurdle to solve before it went live this month: how to draw prospective users while coherently explaining what, exactly, Mojo is in under a minute-and-a-half?
Styled as a “sports stock market,” Mojo bridges the so-called “armchair investing” phenomenon that has been a boon for platforms like Robinhood, while also tapping into the wave of legalized sports betting in the U.S. that has brought the likes of FanDuel, DraftKings and others to national prominence. But instead of courting one-off bets, the app assigns value to individual players—factoring in their career-long earnings, on-field performances, rumors about trades and more—that fluctuates, just like a stock, and encourages longer-term investments from users.
“We had three ideas to start,” explained AJ Favicchio, the campaign’s executive creative director, who works with Los Angeles production studio SixTwentySix and, along with Miles Cable, forms one half of the directing duo Miles & AJ. “But rather than have a celebrity just explain it on a football field with VFX … We wanted to bring it back to the level of a consumer explaining it to a friend,” he said.
To break down the concept to audiences, the SixTwentySix team cast a diverse range of actors in a number of settings from an office to a yoga studio to an auto garage. Clocking in at 90 seconds, it’s a light-hearted spot, playing off personal interactions in the quirky set of environments while peppering in investment jargon like “stat-based payouts” and “asset class.”
“The main goal was to really capture the diversity and spread of sports fans and the different places where you talk about sports: the tailgate, the office, the living room,” said Favicchio, whose team was involved in all stages of the ad from its initial conception to post-production.
Their aim was to also “make sure it didn’t fall in line with the present competitors, which lean in a different space,” he said. Chiefly, in Favicchio’s eyes, that means the hyper-masculine “bro culture of sports.”
The ad’s distribution is mainly limited to digital at this point, where it has racked up more than 200,000 combined views on the company’s social channels, said Vinit Bharara, Mojo’s co-founder and CEO.
“We may explore broadcast and out-of-home in the future, as well. This spot is a 90-second version, but we’re also working with SixTwentySix on cut-down vignettes that we’ll be able to distribute in more traditional ad slots,” he said. “We’re planning to ramp up distribution even more in the coming weeks.”
The company is in its early stages now: it just launched on Apple’s App Store on Sep. 19, it’s only accessible to residents of New Jersey who are 21 and older, and its algorithm is currently limited to a few hundred players in the NFL. But the app has ambitious growth plans.
“We’ve launched with NFL players on the platform, but our vision is to ultimately allow fans to invest in every athlete from every sport in the world,” said Bharara, who’s netted millions in start-up capital for Mojo from entrepreneur Marc Lore, former MLB All-Star Alex Rodriguez, and a number of investment firms.
“We have market access agreements in eight additional states, and we’ll soon be exploring which of those states to prioritize first,” he added. “Our longer-term vision is to be in every state that has legal online gambling.”
The company is also actively working on an Android-compatible version of its app, per the Mojo website.