WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Truliant Federal Credit Union is standing out from the competition by showcasing its members' passion.
Truliant FCU and Chapel Hill, N.C.-based marketing firm Jennings have unveiled a new animated advertising campaign that not only engages and features members but shines a spotlight on how this credit union is unique.
"We went to them and said this is what's out there and we don't want to look like any other financial institution," said Truliant Marketing Communications Supervisor Ryan Shell. "Especially with television commercials, you have to stand out for people to pay attention and they delivered."
As in the past, Shell said real Truliant member stories are at the core of the 2008 animated campaign. It's the Truliant members who clearly articulate the credit union's many points of differentiation. The animated campaign puts a whimsical spin on the testimonial approach to advertising, building on prior campaigns. Shell added that the new advertising campaign aptly reflects Truliant's warmth and accessibility while clearly articulating its points of differentiation.
Inspired by members and consumers, the points of differentiation represent what matters most to members.
"Trust, honesty, doing what is right for the member, providing a good value and excellent service are all rated highly. Our members want a financial institution that is going to act in their best interest--the Truliant points of differentiation are simply physical manifestations of those values that members and consumers rate highly," said Truliant Senior Vice President of Markets Ginger Salt. "For example, we don't do an opt-out courtesy pay because we believe members should be fully informed and educated about their financial choices, and we want them to make the choice that is going to be best for them, so they should know all the information before being signed up for a product or service. The bottom line is our members are our owners and the benefits they experience, including the points of differentiation, are as a result of that ownership."
The Truliant points of differentiation highlighted in the campaign include:
-Credit card accounts that won't get sold to the highest bidder: Truliant won't sell its member-owners' credit card accounts to big banks or the highest bidder. When a member gets a credit card with Truliant, that card stays with Truliant. Members don't have to worry about sudden rate hikes, large fee increases or drastic changes in the terms.
-Real rates that real people qualify for: Truliant only advertises rates for which the majority of its membership can qualify. Often financial institutions will advertise interest rates that only people with the strongest of credit histories can actually qualify for. When Truliant promotes a great rate, it's the real deal; and more than half of its members qualify for it.
-Hire from the community: Truliant believes in keeping jobs in the communities it serves. Good neighbors make good employees; that's why Truliant hires locally from the community.
-Overdraft protection that actually protects people: Truliant offers overdraft protection that actually protects its member-owners. This is very different from traditional courtesy pay programs at financial institutions where the consumer has to opt-out of a hidden program in order to avoid incurring excessive fees, which are often merely loans at higher-than-market rates. These fees and additional charges often represent a large portion of a financial institution's profits.
-Debt free by retirement: Truliant actively works with its members to devise plans for individuals and couples to be debt-free by retirement.
-Home loans that make sense: Truliant works with its member-owners to make sure they get the home loan they need and are comfortable with.
-Financial advisers don't get paid commission: Truliant is committed to providing objective financial advice. That's why their advisors don't make commission on their investment advice. None.
-Car loans and the car delivered: With Truliant's auto buying service program, it help individuals get a new or used car at attractive prices--along with competitive auto loans. CUABS even delivers the new car to its new owner.
The campaign, which includes animated TV commercials, print ads, billboards and the Internet through a microsite (www.TruDifferences.org), is now in full swing throughout the Charlotte and Triad markets of North Carolina. The TV commercials can also be viewed online at www.youtube.com/truliantfcu.
The credit union draws its content for the ads from an e-mail group of member success stories. Members write in about their Truliant experiences and those stories that fit are then placed into points of differentiation categories. Members are then contacted and interviewed to determine if they are interested in being featured in the ads.
"It is really a fun, engaging process where these members who are passionate about their credit union get to share their Truliant experiences," said Shell. "Here in marketing we're not down on the front lines everyday so the opportunity to talk one-on-one and pick our members brains about what they are thinking is just amazing. The best is that it's the actual members telling their stories that are 100% real. That authenticity is what's appealing because it is making a connection with the audience that someone has an experience you can relate to."
The production shoot takes about a day in the Truliant boardroom. Each member segment can take up to 40 minutes to film against the green screen backdrop. Once filming wraps Jennings takes over the creative--cutting out and attaching members' heads to animated bodies and backdrops designed to best showcase their stories in a fun way.
"Part of the reason we posted the commercials on YouTube is because we think they are great, and we have a lot of pride in what we've done," said Shell. "Viral networking is so common today that it was also just simply ease of access and sharing them with others."