DALLAS -- CUES has once again recognized the credit union industry's top marketing talent with Golden Mirrors.
This year's GMA Best of Show award went to Carol Rogalski, manager of marketing and research of First Calgary Savings & Credit Union Ltd., Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Taking home the GMA Rookie of the Year honor was Brad Blue, marketing specialist, Denver Community Federal Credit Union and Lori McCloud, marketing manager of Monroe County Community Credit Union, accepted the GMA Golden Shoestring award.
The prestigious GMA Best of Show honor is awarded each year to one of the first-place winners from the four asset divisions in the coordinated campaigns category; it recognizes a single marketing effort incorporating a variety of integrated approaches.
First Calgary Savings & Credit Union Ltd. was honored for a successful campaign that targeted first-time home buyers and homeowners who were re-financing to increase the credit union's mortgage portfolio and attract new members. First Calgary Savings & Credit Union Ltd. offered a below-prime mortgage rate for up to a thirty-year amortization. Working with marketing communications agency Young & Rubicam, First Calgary Savings & Credit Union Ltd. released a multi-channel marketing approach including print ads, Web site promotion, radio spots, and television and movie theater commercials. The campaign received more than $92 million in mortgage loans, well over the goal of $35 million.
"I need to thank the sales team. We had a great product and we promoted it really well. But the sales team took it home," Rogalski said upon accepting the award.
The GMA Rookie of the Year is selected from all first-time winning entrants. As this year's honoree, Blue was responsible for three successful campaigns.
A direct mail campaign to increase membership presented Denver Community Federal Credit Union as a fun, "unstuffy" financial institution, resulting in 154% more new accounts than the marketing goal. Blue also won for Denver Community Federal Credit Union's "Build a Better Mortgage; Just Log On" coordinated campaign. Members received a mailer including a Lincoln Log, encouraging them to "log on" to the credit union's Web site to fill out a mortgage application. For a cost of $6,750, Denver Community received nearly $6.6 million in mortgage loans.
In addition, Blue was also honored for his credit union's annual report mailing, created to make members feel appreciated by the credit union and show how the members and the credit union are a "perfect blend."
Golden Mirrors that Denver Community will proudly display include two first place finishes in the Annual Reports and Direct Marketing/Mail series categories and both a second place and an award of merit prize in the Coordinated Campaign category, winning for their mortgage and youth campaigns.
In accepting the award, Blue said, "I'm usually big on words, but this time I'm shocked and stunned. I owe so much to my team, particularly my boss, Kirsta Ferndelli, our vice president of business development. Thank you."
The GMA Golden Shoestring award is bestowed upon one entry produced on a limited budget that showcases exceptional results and outstanding creativity.
Michigan-based Monroe County CCU's entry was the "Proud Members" campaign, designed to increase recognition of the credit union's corporate name in a more cost-effective way than large billboard advertising. The credit union asked its members to post promotional yard signs in their lawns for entrance in a cash drawing. Monroe County Community Credit Union distributed 662 signs in 2005 and 998 in 2006.
McCloud said, "It's no secret that the credit union industry is a great one to be a part of, especially for marketers. Whenever I have an off-the-wall idea, thankfully I have a CEO who is flexible enough to try it. Without that freedom, Monroe County Community Credit Union could not have won this award."
The GMA program annually recognizes the credit union industry's most creative and results-producing marketing efforts. This year, CUES received more than 800 entries in the 33rd annual competition's 25 categories. A panel of nine judges composed of credit union marketers, past winners and other advertising professionals scored the entries.