Recently, Quicken Loans launched a new advertising campaign for Rocket Mortgage.
In each commercial, we profile a person who is exceptionally talented and confident at their job and in their hobby, but who needs a little boost when it comes to mortgages. Fortunately, the simple process of Rocket Mortgage helps them understand all the details so they can feel confident once more.
For one of our first commercials, we created a character named Sarah. She’s not only the world’s greatest fifth-grade teacher, she also builds competitive fighting robots (yeah, she’s pretty awesome).
To bring this unique story to life, we partnered with Jeff Vasquez and his sons, Matthew and Jason Vasquez to create Sarah’s champion bot.
We recently sat down with Vasquez, who has competed on ABC’s Battlebots, to talk about this unique partnership and get some insider tips on how he came up with Sarah’s vicious robot, how technology plays a role in his industry and what confidence means to him.
How did you get into making battle bots?
I’ve always been very mechanically inclined and enjoyed competition. I was racing radio control boats at a very high level and one of my sponsors had a flyer for the first Battlebots tournament. I couldn’t go but I saw the pay-per view of the event and I was hooked.
My first event was BB 3.0 at Treasure Island in 2002. I entered 2 bots, a lightweight “Matt’s Bammer” named after my oldest son and “Deb Bot” named after my wife.
Have you made battle bots for commercials before?
This was my first BB type commercial but I’ve done BB episodes for “The Big Bang Theory”, “Zoey 101”, “Lab Rats”, “1000 Ways to Die”, “Machinima” and others.
What was your first thought when you were contacted about making a bot for a mortgage commercial?
I was very excited and flattered to be asked to do the commercial. I love building bots and getting paid to do it is just icing on the cake!
What was your inspiration for the look of the battle bot?
The look of the battle bot was actually proposed and approved by the director. He had pictures and ideas of what it “should” look like based on the BB show. I suggested modifications that might add a bit of realism and aid in the functionality. We went through about 6 iterations before we came up with the final design.
We see ourselves as a technology company that does mortgages. There’s a lot of technology involved in building and operating a battle bot. What are some things you do to stay ahead of the pack, technologically?
Technology is a tricky thing. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should do it.
In the Rocket Mortgage world, it seems to me that the most important thing is that the technology actually enhances the user experience and adds efficiency and dependability to your operation.
It is much the same for us. The motors, electronics, batteries, etc., are for the most part, state of the art, but have been battle tested so they give us the power, efficiency and dependability we need to stay in the battle. Our user experience is for the audience. The better our weapons operate the more entertaining the destruction.
Was there anything specific you wanted, technologically or aesthetically, to make sure the Rocket Mortgage bot had?
The overhead saw was really cool. I’m glad we could put it into the bot! We’ve successfully incorporated it into several of our actual combat robots. It looks much easier to do than it is.
One unique aspect of the design was that the saw blade was enclosed and hidden in the bot until we activated it and it chopped the other bot. I have never seen that incorporated into any combat robot before. Usually the blade is on the exterior of the bot.
This commercial really focuses on living confidently, including with your mortgage. How do you think confidence impacts your world in building and battling robots?
Battle bots is not for the meek.
You need to have equal amounts of intellect, creativity and confidence in your design. You literally build on your fight experience and learn from your mistakes. When you win, it gives you confidence.
I can say from personal experience that a mortgage is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life! There are many components that lead up to the mortgage. You have to build and save for the down payment, find the house, use your intellect to figure out the paperwork and crunch the numbers and have the confidence in your decisions to sign the paperwork.
To succeed in the Battlebots and in life you have to have confidence in yourself and your ALL your abilities.
Whether you’re building and fighting robots, kicking butt at your day job, or entering the home purchase or refinance world for the first time, you’ll need confidence. If the mortgage world seems a little daunting, don’t stress. With Rocket Mortgage we’ll make it as easy as possibly to you can mortgage confidently.
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