Grow Financial FCU's student microsite has brought the Tampa, Fla.-based credit union new business-as well as some industry accolades.
The site, grow4students.org, has received a 2010 Local Addy from the Tampa Bay Advertising Federation, a 2010 Diamond Award of Merit from CUNA and a second place 2010 Golden Mirror Award from CUES.
"As a local credit union in a market where major banks and larger credit unions are represented, we need to find alternative paths for connecting with a younger audience," said Wes Strickland, vice president of marketing for the $1.7 billion credit union. "Grow4students gives us a forum to showcase our services in a way college students can relate to. It educates them about Grow Financial as it engages and entertains."
Grow4students receives about 650 visits a month, with peaks at the start of each semester, according to the 159,000-member credit union. Since the site's launch last year, Grown Financial has opened 79 student Visa credit card accounts and 1,483 student e-checking accounts.
The site's intended audience is Gen Y throughout the Tampa Bay area, with a focus on students enrolled at the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa and St. Leo College. The credit union promotes the site through TV commercials airing on cable networks in the region.
The homepage of the site features a typical college student's desk in a dorm room. Through Flash interactivity, visitors can click on various objects on the desk to learn more about a particular topic. For example, a set of keys is linked to information about auto and renters insurance and a smart phone brings up information about mobile banking. Other items direct visitors to fun extras-a stack of DVD cases leads to the credit union's YouTube channel and a trophy cup provides a chance to enter a football ticket sweepstakes.
The site was designed by graphic designer Gloria Gonzalez with content created by copywriter Dave Richards, both of Grow Financial's marketing department. Bayshore Solutions of Tampa, a website design agency, developed the flash animation. The production cost for the site was about $50,000 and it took about nine months to develop, according to the credit union.