Credit Karma Debuts New Series of Kooky Spots Involving Crazy Cat Ladies and Destructive Kids

In-house series pays off for evolving brand

Bad roommate. #BAD. Credit Karma

Would you want to flee the neighborhood if a kooky cat lady with 40 furry friends bought the house next door? What if some dude obsessed with wind chimes moved in, and the clanging-jangling kept you awake all night? Or, perhaps the arrival of a family with 13 destructive kids would send you on a quest to find a new home?

Credit Karma poses such silly scenarios—and reminds you that before trying to buy a new place, you should check your credit score—in spots that take the brand’s trademark humor to the next level.

Developed in-house with the help of production company Smuggler, the ads represent an effort “to unlock the value of Credit Karma beyond free scores,” Dana Marineau, the company’s vice president of brand and creative, tells Adweek.

Themed “Keep Moving Forward,” the commercials seek to show “how improving scores helps consumers make financial progress,” says Marineau. “In this case, highlighting how using Credit Karma to monitor and improve credit can help someone move and escape that very relatable experience of having a terrible roommate or neighbor.”

Thanks largely to Benji Weinstein’s brisk, sitcom-esque direction, these ads feel right on the money, buoyed by odd touches like a #SadFace roommate’s berserk barking and Jingle-Boy’s poetic/insane declaration that, “The wind is my wife, and the chimes are our children.” In one case, life imitated art (or commerce) as the crew had their own “bad neighbor” run-in with a homeowner while on location.

“He didn’t love the idea of a big production crew using the street that day,” recalls Marineau. “So in protest, he made as much noise as possible while we were filming, and refused to stop even when asked politely.”

Sounds like a real grouch. Still, he’d probably make a better neighbor than that guy with his rolling, tolling, moaning, groaning chimes, chimes, chimes.


Client/Agency: Credit Karma
Campaign Name: Keep Moving Forward
VP of Brand and Creative: Dana Marineau
Director of Creative Strategy: Dustin Shekell
Director of Brand Strategy: Mary FlorCruz
Group Creative Director: Rus Chao
Head of Production: Peter Hootman
Senior Writers: Brian Bernbaum, Tim Shay
Lead Art Director: Beau Hanson
Senior Supervising Producer: Slava Basovich
Senior Producer: Justin Shores
Integrated Producer: Aaron Patterson
Postproduction Supervisor: Todd Johnson

Production Company: Smuggler Inc.
Director: Benji Weinstein
Director of Photography: Bryan Newman
Executive Producer: Drew Santarsiero
Producer: Oliver van Beek
Production Designer: Hank Mann

Editing: Cut + Run
Editor: Frank Effron
Second Editor: Sean Stender
Assistant Editor: Eli Beck-Gifford
Producer: Brady Fiero

VFX: Alt Inc.

Sound, Color, Finishing: Mission Film and Design
Managing Director: Matt Notaro
Producer: Nick Castillo
Associate Producer: Carissa Quiambao
Colorist: Chris Martin
Flame Artist: Mark Everson
Sound Designer: Joel
Music: Little Girl and the Robot
Artist: Gingger Shankkar
Additional music: The Diner

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.
Publish date: July 3, 2018 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT