Advertisements during the Super Bowl often make plays for attention by aiming for offense. This year, however, our early contender for winner of the controversy sweepstakes wasn’t particularly vulgar. Instead, it was a commercial for Rocket Mortgage, an app from Quicken Loans that promises to deliver mortgage judgments in as little as eight minutes. It proposes to “do for mortgages what the Internet did for buying music, and plane tickets, and shoes.” If we embrace this model, the ad suggests, we would be patriotically creating jobs and swelling the economy, as new homeowners rush to buy goods to fill their new homes.
Wondering how “people [are] going to afford all of this,” CNET’s Chris Matyszczyk worries that by making mortgages easier to acquire Quicken’s service might undermine “rational decision-making.” On Twitter, meanwhile, the judgments came fast and hard.
Rocket Mortgage: Let’s do the financial crisis again, but with apps!— daveweigel (@daveweigel) February 8, 2016
You can get a Rocket Mortgage on your phone! And we can all pretend that 2008 never happened! #SB50— Robert Klara (@UpperEastRob) February 8, 2016
why did that Rocket Mortgage ad feel like a trailer for "The Big Short 2"— Walter Hickey (@WaltHickey) February 8, 2016
Ultimately, Rocket Mortgage may not even be equipped to make good on its advertised promises. On the website Marketwatch, Andrea Riquier observes that while it’s “technically possible for a mortgage applicant to have all the data and documentation lined up” to make it through the process in less than 10 minutes, most are likely to “move more slowly.”