Habito builds its brand to drive performance in an unloved category


Key Points

  • Habito wanted to deliver immediate results to drive growth for their young business
  • Moving away from a traditional DRTV approach, they embraced brand building on a limited budget by developing an extremely bold TV advert, which they ran selectively in high impact, high attention airtime
  • As a result, they benefitted from a big jump in spontaneous brand awareness and serious efficiencies in customer acquisition costs

The Challenge

The mortgage advice market is very valuable, but ultimately small.  There are a limited number of people looking for a mortgage at any point in time.  This makes direct response advertising – the standard ATL market entry tactic for direct to consumer (DTC) brands - very inefficient.  Like most VC backed start-ups, Habito, the online mortgage broker service, lacked the deep pockets to fund significant brand campaigns and couldn’t wait for the returns – they need immediate results to drive growth for their business.

The TV Solution

Embracing IPA best practise, Habito, along with their agency Goodstuff, committed to brand building on TV. They hired a vibrant young creative agency and briefed them to produce something that would punch massively above its weight in terms of attention and memorability.  Uncommon delivered on that brief with an amazing eye-popping animated depiction of the hell of mortgage advice the old way, contrasted with the heaven of using Habito. To apply some science to the powerful creativity from Uncommon, NeuroInsight analysed the commercial to help understand where to introduce the branding to best drive memory encoding. A heavy metal soundtrack ensured that the ad stood out, grabbed attention immediately and demanded that consumers took a look.

The Plan

The media laydown had to evolve significantly to take advantage of the powerful new creative work.  Habito CMO, Abba Newbery, said of the advert:

“Positioning itself alongside TV shows with five or six million viewers is a sign of Habito’s confidence, rather than following other start-ups by opting for smaller programmes with less than a million viewers.”

So Goodstuff optimised TVR delivery against an effective frequency level of 4 OTS – lower than they’d normally recommend for an unfamiliar brand, running a brand new campaign.  They bought a significant amount of VOD airtime as the highly engaged nature of those viewers would help impact and recall.

High attention programming was key to making this campaign punch above its TVR weight, so spots were bought in Game of Thrones, Love Island and Coronation Street.


The campaign ultimately only delivered around 300 TVRs, yet the media and creative strategy working hand in hand meant that all our campaign objectives were hit and in fact, exceeded on short-term leads and enquiries:

  • Spontaneous brand awareness doubled
  • Advertising awareness tripled
  • Customer volumes increased three and a half times
  • Acquisition costs were 75% less than when the campaign kicked off

There is a strongly held belief that you can growth-hack your way to rapid growth with technology brands. We are delighted to have bucked that trend to show that a deep investment and belief in building your brand through traditional channels like TV can be highly effective, and sustainable from a unit-economics perspective. We are proud to have harnessed the very best in advertising creativity with Uncommon, and the most forensically thought through media planning with Goodstuff. Our commitment to brand building and to TV as the key channel for that is a long-term one, so ecstatic to have already seen tangible and exceptional short-term results.

Abba Newbery Chief Marketing Officer, Habito


Sector: Financial

Brand: Habito

Campaign objectives: Drive rapid growth in brand awareness whilst delivering short-term business results

Target Audience: “Logisticians” – rational, progressive consumers with an appetite for personal finance

Budget: c. £3m annual ATL

Campaign Dates: 13th May – 30th June 2019

TV Usage: 30 second spots

Creative Agency: Uncommon

Media Agency:  Goodstuff

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