From the Archives: March 2013

Strong Messages Drive Successful Advertising 

The CU Link cooperative advertising campaign, set to launch this spring on television, radio and online, employs a mix of credit union branding messages along with product-specific spots about auto loans, credit cards and more surcharge-free ATMs than any bank.

In 2012, the strategy worked – the campaign helped increase awareness to a record of 64% of Michigan consumers last year. This is despite the fact that consumers are bombarded by advertising all day long, and everywhere they turn. For 2013 the messages will use real statistics that demonstrate the advantages of credit union membership:

  1. Money – Money is on everyone’s mind, particularly when the economy squeezes family budgets. Messages of fewer fees, surcharge-free ATM access, lower loan rates and great credit card rates resonate as consumers try to cut their expenses.
  2. Facts – Real numbers help tell the story. Credit unions don’t just say that they have lower fees, they really have lower fees. So the television and radio spots can quote actual numbers, like credit card rates average 4 percentage points lower than banks, 650,000 people have joined a credit union in the last year, and credit union members have access to 1,660 surcharge-free ATMs, more than any bank. (Bank of America is a distant second at 514.)
  3. Products – Credit unions have all the financial products and services consumers want and the expertise and service to back them up. Products and services that are featured include surcharge-free ATMs, auto loans and refinances, credit cards, Invest in America discounts, business lending and the value of membership.
  4. Control – The campaign tagline shifts this year from “own your money” to “it’s time to own your money,” which adds a sense of urgency, but conveys the idea that consumers can be in control.
  5. Generation Y – In 2011 and 2012, the CU Link consumer survey started looking at what the younger generation understands about credit unions, and the answer is not much. The 2013 campaign includes a sub-campaign targeted at consumers under age 25, using youthful ideas and tone and media that appeals most to these consumers, including social media, online advertising and web-based radio formats, such as Pandora.
  6. Media Strategy – A revised media strategy devised by the campaign’s new advertising partner, SMZ, takes a “surround” approach, using as many media channels as budgets allow, to reach as many consumers as possible. This includes traditional television, cable and radio but also includes pay-per-click, online, billboards and Pandora.

For more information about the campaign, visit the CU Link website or contact your league representative.

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