SEATTLE -- Credit unions found a spot, so to speak, on the Academy Awards "Red Carpet" TV telecast Feb. 25 when the first "Discover Credit Unions" co-op TV ad appeared during the pre-awards show on the local ABC affiliate.
"We're still awaiting the numbers but the two 30-second ads we ran looked just great and we're getting great feedback, particularly from young women, the target audience," said Kristina Walters Juma, vice president of marketing and business development for Washington State Employees Federal Credit Union of Olympia.
One of the co-op ads appeared during the Red Carpet show and the other ran in the middle of the telecast, said Walters Juma, whose CU is one of 20 Washington and Alaska CUs that funded the overhauled CU awareness campaign.
The debut spots on the Academy Awards, one called "Free Fido" and the other "Perfect Dad," "are really perfect in reaching women 18-34," said Walters-Juma. "They're sweet ads and all about feeling special, respected and nurtured when it comes to women doing their banking." Men, she observed, "don't get upset like women do about charges to their account but women do and these ads underscore the differences."
Calling its new ad campaign "quirky," the committee noted the commercials "employed a cute pooch and a pack of dogs" to convey a humorous, but positive message about CUs.
One of the ads shows a young woman imagining what it would feel like to free an unhappy pooch from its silly doggy coat and harness held by its aristocratic owner.
Kevin Foster-Keddie, president of WSECU and co-chair of the ad panel, explained that "Free Fido" is an analogy for the traditional relationship between a person and his or her bank.
"Credit union members know how easy and hassle-free banking can be. 'Free Fido' shows people in an entertaining way that you don't have to be 'owned' by your financial institution," Foster-Keddie said. "We want nonmembers to have the same feeling that our members have. The idea of freedom as shown in the ad was meant to connect emotionally with nonmembers."
When the spot ends, viewers are directed to discovercreditunions.com, where they can learn more about the credit union difference, find a credit union near them and view the spots.
The second spot titled "Perfect Dad," said Foster-Keddie, uses similar quirkiness to show the satisfaction the credit union difference can bring. It opens with a couple on their first date and the woman imagining a future with the man. It will begin airing this week.
"This campaign is designed to reach out to nonmembers to increase the chance that they would consider a credit union for that financial purchase," said Walters-Juma. "It employs the creativity and production quality that is necessary to break through and signal professionalism on par with our competition.
"The campaign also expresses the core values of our 'regular gal' and care giving archetype to the young and savvy female audience," she concluded. --firstname.lastname@example.org