Intuit wasn't a first-time Super Bowl advertiser, but this spot was the first for its own brand. Its scant 15 seconds aimed at driving viewers to a four-minute short film, "A Giant Story," released online the Thursday before the game, that suggests Intuit products such as 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," Intuit's chief marketing officer, Lucas Watson, told Ad Age before the game. "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 said.
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.
Aside from generating awareness for Intuit's brands among consumers, Watson said the goal was attracting employees from the likes of the Procter & Gamble and Google, and to encourage Intuit's own employees.
Intuit worked with agency-of-record Phenomenon on the spot. The animation was created by Passion Animation Studios, the studio behind an acclaimed 2015 Spanish Christmas Lottery commercial.
Intuit did also run two Super Bowl ads specifically for TurboTax in the 2018 Super Bowl, "The Thing Under the Bed" and "The Noise in the Attic." Intuit's big-game debut was 2014, when it awarded a spot to GoldieBlox in a small-business contest ("Come on Bring the Toyz") and bought another for TurSend credit info to [email protected].