Molly Shannon stars in LendingTree's first celebrity campaign

'Linda Found a Lenda' is fintech brand's first long-form TV ad in over three years

Published On
Jul 12, 2022

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As inflation seeps further into the everyday expenses of Americans, research from LendingTree found that 83% have noticed pressure on their budgets, leading to a higher demand for financing to make ends meet. The same survey reported that rising mortgage interest rates have caused mortgages to rise, on average, $250 per month this year, which equates to more than $100,000 in a loan’s lifetime.

In its first celebrity-led campaign, the fintech brand that allows borrowers to evaluate multiple lenders at once seeks to build trust and comfort with those seeking financial assistance—in the form of comedian and actress Molly Shannon, plus a tightened tagline and revamped customer experience.

“​​I feel like after what we've been through with COVID and, oh my gosh, and so many desks, and just all the people unable to work, there's just been massive change with all the financial uncertainty that people face today,” Shannon told Ad Age, adding that she was excited to partner with LendingTree because “they make it easy for people to look and compare multiple offers, which is certainly what I do as a mom.”

The campaign created with agency Mekanism features two 30-second spots, marking the first work LendingTree will air on broadcast TV in over three years. In each, Shannon plays the role of Linda, who flaunts her financial ease because she didn’t have to do any of the work—“The lenders came to Linda.”

The “SNL” alum finds quick banter in each video with a slew of rhyming dialogue, almost like a non-musical jingle. Over a diner table, Linda tells a woman seeking a mortgage loan that she used LendingTree to finance her “hacienda—it’s magenta.”

“Would you recommenda?” asks the woman. “Well it’s better to choose your own lenda from the list they send ya,” Linda replies, “And you don’t have to be a big spenda like some fancy one percenta.” A waiter comes to take their order: “How’s the chicken?” askes Linda. “Tenda?”

The ad ends with LendingTree’s traditional tagline, “When banks compete, you win,” which animates to zip into its new, simplified tagline: “You win.”

“In America, we are not trusting brands and corporations the way we once did, we're not trusting each other the way we once did…and when it comes to money, we're even more worried and even more suspicious on who to pay attention to and who to trust,” said Shiv Singh, LendingTree’s chief marketing officer. “In an environment like this, using a celebrity, but specifically someone like Molly Shannon, who has that approachability, who people like, who has a lot of built-in trust and connection with consumers—does a lot to draw greater attention to our brand and help folks really get that LendingTree is like Molly Shannon in some ways.”


The process of creating Linda was a collaboration between LendingTree’s internal creative team and Mekanism’s, led by Katie Jensen and David Horowitz, said Jason Harris, Mekanism’s CEO. Collaboratively, the team workshopped many different ideas until they had down Linda’s “cadence of the way she talks and the rhyming and the rhythm of it,” which was engineered to be “memorable and sticky” like a song that gets stuck in one’s head, said Harris.

Shannon said she brought Linda further to life based on one of her real-life friends. “[Linda] is loosely based on someone I know,” said Shannon. “I don't want to say who, but it's a woman who people go to for advice. Like, she's just somebody who's really kind but knows the best deal, so you would always ask this person—she does happen to live in New York City—and she just knows.”

Shannon added that she was able to provide full input on “what I think she looks like and how she talks and what kind of jeans she wears, how she does her nails and her hair” to Singh and the LendingTree creative team.

Singh joined LendingTree in January with a resume of brand marketing experience for major companies such as Expedia, Visa and PepsiCo. Joining LendingTree was like “walking into a Michelin star restaurant’s kitchen because I saw all these amazing ingredients” that weren’t being fully optimized, he said. “I felt there's not a moment to lose to bring it all together and, and turn it into an amazing dish.” Lendingtree is also redesigning its website and offering new features, such as personalized insurance check-ups and a customer interface that incorporates feedback in real time.

Read more: A Q&A with Molly Shannon


Jul 12, 2022
Client :
Chief Marketing & Customer Experience Officer :
Shiv Singh
Head of Creative :
Todd Lauer
Brand Manager :
Mary White Martin
Brand Director :
Katie Robinson
Senior Creative Director :
John Iafrate
Senior Creative Manager :
Jay Broom
Copywriter :
Molly Plester
Agency :
Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer :
Ian Kovalik
Partner & Executive Creative Director :
David Horowitz
Group Creative Director :
Katie Jensen
Associate Creative Director :
Will Knox
Co-Founder & CEO :
Jason Harris
Managing Director :
Tor Edwards
Group Brand Director :
Jonica Reed
Brand Director :
Alla Makagon
Chief Strategy Officer :
Ambika Pai
Group Strategy Director :
Ben Phillips
Associate Strategy Director :
Maya Goldberg
Supervising Producer :
Zach Fleming
Business Affairs Manager :
Nakiella Smith
Business Affairs Director :
Keri Catanzano
Production :
Post-Production :
Color :
Mix :
Sound Lounge

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