Intuit is getting animated in its first Super Bowl commercial promoting the corporate brand. The Super Bowl ad itself is only 15 seconds, but it will attempt to drive viewers to the four-minute short film above.
The company debuted the film, "A Giant Story," on Thursday. Its goal is to showcase how the company's products, which include TurboTax, QuickBooks and Mint, can work together to help people be more prosperous.
The film introduces Pari, an engineer and entrepreneur who watches her friend Pete struggle as the owner of a small flower shop. She becomes inspired to create an Intuit Giant for Pete, which helps him manage the finances of his company so he can focus on growing his business.
"This is a crazy time right now, #MeToo and Trump and tax reform, it's a tense time," says Intuit's chief marketing officer, Lucas Watson. "We are a company that's been historically very humble, we are very customer-driven, customer-obsessed, we think we have a pretty clean track record on our ethics and our values. We take our relationship with our clients super seriously. We are one of the best places to work for women. We had permission to stand up and say for all the bad in the world there are a very good stories going on. So we think the time is right."
Intuit was careful when creating its characters and premise for the film, wanting to make sure the story was inclusive both from a gender point of view and ethnicity.
"We had debates about the role and portrayal of the protagonist," Watson says.
The hero of the spot is an Indian entrepreneur and engineer, which Watson says reflects the workforce at Intuit, where 37% of its engineers are women and 40% of the leadership team is female.
And the giant character, which comes in to make it easier for business owners to manage their finances, is androgynous. "It doesn't have a name and we wanted to stay away from gender stereotypes in either direction," Watson says.
While Watson says they thought through all of these points, they weren't trying to make a social statement.
Aside from generating awareness for Intuit's brands among consumers, Watson says they are also using the spot to attract employees from the likes of the Procter & Gambles and Googles of the world. And it is also meant as a rallying cry for Intuit's own employees, Watson says.
Intuit worked with agency-of-record Phenomenon on the spot. The animation was created by Passion Animation Studios, the studio behind the Cannes Lions Grand Prix-winning 2015 Spanish Christmas Lottery campaign, "Justino."