BrandCap helps credit unions takes on banks in US in largest ever consumer campaign

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has launched its largest ever consumer-facing campaign to drive consideration of credit unions as a preferred financial services provider. The digital, research-driven national credit union awareness initiative is a national program that is building through regional market launches.

Designed to complement credit unions’ existing marketing programs, the initiative, led by BrandCap, promotes the industry by combating two primary myths uncovered in extensive customer research, executed by the Glover Park Group (GPG). Consumer consideration is undermined because:  people do not think they’re eligible to join; and people think access is restricted to local usage only.

The Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union campaign demonstrates in compelling ways how people aren’t just account numbers at credit unions; they’re valued members who own “a piece of the pie” and enjoy extraordinary benefits. Because credit unions are member-owned, all of the profits are reinvested in the form of better rates on everything from checking accounts to loans. All you need to do is open your eyes to an easy, better way to do money.

The focus of the creative concept is a series of black and white portraiture; reflecting the diversity of the American population, framing their eyes with their hands. To complement these portraits are a series of eye catching, colourful scenarios that are connected to specific messages that aim to attack the myths behind credit unions. The scenarios have been styled to cut through the deluge of advertising consumers see every day, and be very different from traditional financial services content.

A number of assets have been created for digital and print channels, using the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union portraits, messages and scenarios. They are available to use by all contributing credit unions to amplify the campaign.

The Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union creative drives consumers to a newly launched website, which explains what a credit union is and inspires visitors to reassess whether a credit union is the right choice for them. Landing pages within the site provide specific information on the eligibility, fee-free ATMs, rate offerings, financial planning and mobile banking access availability at credit unions nationwide. Additionally, it includes an easy-to-use ‘find the right credit union for you’ tool.

To ensure an efficient and effective media strategy, a segmentation study was undertaken to identify key target audiences for the campaign. The findings were used to define the consumer segments most amenable for the campaign and provide insights into the way they bank, the media channels they use, and the key attributes that drive their decisions in selecting a financial service provider.

The resulting target audiences were found to be ambitious and socially conscious 24-34-year olds and parents ages 35 to 50. The Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union campaign is deploying a digitally-led media strategy and that will be featured heavily across key digital and social channels, as well as being supported by digital out-of-home, out-of-home and ambient.

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle said: “This campaign has inspired our members to work together as one for the greater good and the number of invested stakeholders continues to grow. Through its strategic, yet creative, approach we’ve been able to collaborate with BrandCap to ensure we’re not only delivering an effective program nationally, but also addressing the needs of each and every stakeholder.”

Ed Bolton, Creative Director, BrandCap added: “JP Morgan Chase spends around $5 billion a year on marketing and advertising, and research shows that credit unions are outspent by banks in marketing by a ratio of $43-to-$1. We therefore knew that this campaign had to punch above its weight. By bringing together all the credit unions and creating a category campaign we are able to make it much bigger than the sum of its parts. We were delighted to be a part of the movement to create a programme that unifies the category and ultimately results in large scale attitude shift and behaviour change.”

Mike Brooks, Campaigns Lead, BrandCap said: “When you think about it, it’s so obvious that a credit union is better for you. It’s simple – you get more from your money if you join one. The challenge is shaking people out of apathy that pervades financial services and convincing a sceptical national audience to re-assess their current providers. We’re excited about the potential of this campaign to grow the consideration set for the credit union industry across the US.”

Source: BrandCap

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