The Super Bowl adstravaganza is in full swing and already we’ve got Skittles heading to Broadway, Doritos recruiting Chance the Rapper and the Backstreet Boys, Pepsi corralling Michael Bublé and Lil Jon, and more. Now, Expensify–an app that makes organizing your spending and expenses easier–is betting that a full-blown 2 Chainz music video of a song with the brand in the title will help people remember its name.
Created with agency JohnXHannes and helmed by award-winning director Andreas Nilsson (he directed Volvo’s viral “Epic Split”), it’s a rap video’s rap video. You’ve got an ice-sculptured sports car, a decked-out gold jet ski, a diamond-encrusted football, a gold 2 Chainz bust. But there’s a twist. Embedded in the video are a collection of receipts that, if you snap photos of them with the Expensify app, you could win all of these lavish items, plus cash and other goodies. Expensify founder and CEO David Barrett says it’s basically an “awesome product demo wrapped inside a really fun idea” that aims to help boost the brand name.
“We are the strongest brand [in expense management], the largest customer base, and the fastest growing–and yet virtually nobody in the world knows who we are, despite us having something to offer virtually everyone,” says Barrett. “We want to convey that Expensify is for everyone: you, your mom, your grandma, your kid, your coworkers, your boss–anyone who spends money can and should use it.”
Despite being founded a decade ago, the brand has never done a national advertising campaign; this is Expensify’s first-ever TV ad. Barrett says the first and primary reason to do a Super Bowl spot is to keep growing the business, but a close second is that it’s just fun. He’s also quick to add that we shouldn’t confuse a wild Super Bowl ad with tech startup waste. This isn’t Pets.com.
“Unlike most ‘unicorn’ Silicon Valley startups that just hemorrhage cash until they get acquired for peanuts, we are growing over 100% year-on-year–without any advertising–and doing so very profitably,” he says. “We are a small company of 130 people that loves to do crazy things. We take the whole company–including families–overseas for a month every year. Last year was Italy, this year is Vietnam, and Super Bowl is one of the craziest things you can do.”
If you thought a gold bust of 2 Chainz was the ultimate prize, think again. The brand is saving the biggest prize for the game, when you only have a chance of winning it if you scan a receipt at the end of the ad.