The $8.5 billion BECU of Seattle cited recently as a favored financial institution in the media and Congressional focus on big bank practices is prepping for a February marketing campaign tapping into the "mad as hell" sentiment.
BECU officials told Credit Union Times the marketing foray "including the full complement of TV, radio, print and online spots" will avoid any "bank bashing" but will push CU strengths while containing a sharper edge to traditional CU awareness ads.
"We will become a little more assertive in our ads, less passive as we try to key into what makes consumers so mad," said Toby Travis, senior marketing strategist for BECU, which is using two Seattle agencies, DNA Seattle and Zaaz Inc., as part of the rebranding effort.
Like CUs elsewhere, BECU, said Travis, seeks to take advantage of new market opportunities afforded the industry by public anti-big bank attitudes stoked by the "Move Your Money" online campaign of political pundit Arianna Huffington.
"This is not about piling on banks but we can see that the public is now concerned about lots of money issues relating to a variety of things like overdraft fees, credit restrictions, TARP bailouts and bonus pay for top executives," said Travis. The BECU ads being framed will try to put a CU spin to those concerns, he said.
BECU management, he added, has been watching the "Move Your Money" rhetoric for some weeks as the CU develops its marketing pitch. Two weeks ago the Seattle CU, largest in the Northwest, was given prominent mention in a CBS MoneyWatch article as a safe haven institution with member benefits.