Who Wot Why has created a 30-second spot for Habito, the free online mortgage broker, which recently announced an £18.5 million Series B funding round. The technology-and-people-powered start-up is making its first foray into TV advertising. The commercial features a genuine algorithm born from Habito’s sorting code. It airs this week on ITV Meridian.
The film presents a mesmeric visualisation of the Habito algorithm hard at work sifting through thousands of mortgages to find the right one. However, despite its brilliance, the machine doesn’t give two figs about the people it’s doing it for. That’s where an actual Habito broker comes in to take care of the human stuff. The film is summed up by the line: “Machines sort. Humans talk.”
Who Wot Why’s philosophy is ‘break one rule’. The rule broken here is to put a nerdy coded algorithm in a place it simply shouldn’t be: a TV ad for mortgages. The film also educates people what an algorithm is and what it does.
Who Wot Why always start with the Why. Habito’s Why is all about man and machine working better together. Despite what the tech industry may say, a great machine has no empathy. Equally, a great person can’t churn through a ton of data in milliseconds. Together is better.
The piece is directed by Nexus Studios’ director Nicolas Ménard. He specialises in visualising algorithms and has published a book on the subject. Working with coded sorting algorithms and with coded sound design by David Kamp, and additional music by Daniel Hegarty, Habito’s CEO, the result is unlike anything in traditional animation.
Sean Thompson, Who Wot Why’s co-founder, said: “We like to break rules, Habito likes to break rules. It’s a match made in Heaven.”
Daniel Hegarty, Habito’s CEO, said: “Mortgages are intimidating and disempowering - people want and need to know they are getting the best possible deal, but also know they are cared for and understood. We came to WWW with a brief to find a disruptive and elegant way to showcase the duality that makes Habito special: precise engineering craft underlying skilled and problem-seeking human presence. We’re really proud of the work.”
Ménard said: “The project was a rare and unique opportunity to make a film using code, and to craft our very own, playful sorting algorithms. There was a strong emphasis on colour, shapes and composition to make a satisfying picture.”
Who Wot Why won the task to take Habito onto TV in May. It’s their third new business win in as many months after winning the Sky Bet account and Lily’s Kitchen.