WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - In an effort to creatively reach members some credit union marketers are turning to custom photography. With bankers working overtime in Virginia to strip away credit unions' nonprofit status, Richmond-based Call Federal Credit Union wanted to incorporate a political action scene that would reinforce the League's position during International Credit Union Day. "After a brainstorming session with a local consulting firm we realized that credit unions are like being an American. They are democratically run, voluntarily driven and a lot of the credit union values like the right to vote are similar to the values America was founded on," said Call FCU Marketing Specialist Kelley Parks. "So we thought a great visual for that would be a play on the Iwo Jima image but with the flag held up by our American family of members." Wanting the `family" to express diversity across all lines from culture and age, to professions, the credit union turned to Lake Forest, California-based marketing solutions provider PSB, The Superstore to create the ads. "We wanted the graphic to show how being an American mirrors being an owner of a credit union while thanking our members for their membership," said Parks. "The possibilities with this are endless because it is a great way to show our members what they as owners can do from a political standpoint to help their credit unions." Parks says although they used specific models the ads are generic so they can be shared with other credit unions. Yuma, Arizona-based AEA Federal Credit Union certainly has been creating a buzz with its mobile branch and Marketing Vice President Yanna Kruse says the custom images are part of the reason. "Our CEO is very driven by the credit union mission of reaching out to underserved communities and he had a dream for years about launching a full-service branch on wheels to drive out to the border communities on a regular weekly schedule," said Kruse. "Those areas were mostly Hispanic and in designing the van we wanted to communicate that we deliver door-to-door member service." The air-conditioned van is equipped with teller stations and bilingual staffers who can process everything from teller transactions to new accounts and loans. AEA FCU President/CEO Kenneth Bredemeyer says the mobile branch has been a great way to go out and serve these underserved areas. "We had a group of membership in an area where we couldn't afford to build a branch so what better way to serve their needs and show them what credit unions are about than a mobile branch," said Bredemeyer. "While it is a great moving billboard, for us the greater value is that our members appreciate it and feel that we haven't abandoned them and we are a real part of the community." Kruse says in designing the van's exterior the artwork had to portray members actively involved in using AEA FCU's member services. "So that is why we have a girl on the laptop, which promotes our online services or a boy holding a giant glow pen, which is what we give away with our youth account. We found it surprisingly challenging to find cutout photos of Hispanic models so we had to create our own," said Kruse. "Instead of having to settle, we were able to more accurately reflect the makeup of our membership and do it in a fun and entertaining way. It has turned out so fabulous for us- that van gets so much notice and it is just a wonderful PR tool." According to PSB Communications Director Dennis Harroun, with an ever-increasing competitive environment, "it becomes more and more important to set your organization apart and custom photography is just one way to do that." -firstname.lastname@example.org
CUs Find Custom Photography Can Help Get Across Their Unique Marketing Message
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