Countrywide Home Loans Inc. spent more than $20.2 million last year for television advertising, with most going for ads on cable networks, supplemented by network and local ads.
Its advertising goals include building "brand awareness" among consumers and real estate agents for "purchase consideration and purchase preference for Countrywide," said David Doyle, senior vice president of marketing.
In one of the company's commercials, a nervous husband calls a Countrywide branch manager to check on a mortgage application.
"So when do you think we'll hear?" he asks. "This week? It's O.K., I don't want to rush the loan committee."
"Why don't we hear from them now?" the branch manager responds. "I am the loan committee - your loan is approved."
Countrywide has updated its commercials for spring and has even created one aimed at attracting prospective homebuyers to its Web site. It said it hopes to "generate direct response" with the high visibility of its toll- free number and Web site address.
The giant lender is trying to do "storytelling-style" advertisements, trying to send a message to consumers that it offers "superior value," Mr. Doyle said.
The company's commercials support its purchase, refinancing, and home equity businesses, in addition to directing consumers to its Web site, Mr. Doyle said.
Though the March-through-August period is the "prime homebuying season," he said Countrywide schedules advertising year-round.
Mr. Doyle said the new campaign, created by Dailey & Associates of West Hollywood, is "very focused on the things that people need to help them accomplish something."
Ads also have been done in Spanish.
"The commercials speak to someone who is either in the mortgage finance process or is about to enter the mortgage finance process," Mr. Doyle said. "We make it very easy for them to respond to the advertising that they see."