After nearly a decade of what it calls a "beneficial relationship with similar brands," Navy Federal Credit Union is finding the GEICO gecko its new best friend.
Starting last month, the nation's largest CU began upping the marketing ante through a stepped up national campaign to promote the CU's auto and home link up with GEICO Insurance.
Saying that it has already picked up "an early positive buzz" from its new commercials, Navy Federal officials said the new branding push began Jan. 17 and now covers 37 markets on radio, newspapers and online.
Sometime in May the credit union will gauge results as to how the latest blitz is performing, said Pat Schneck, senior vice president-marketing and advertising.
The campaign is distinctive from past GEICO tie-ins, said Schneck, because "our new ads emphasize the partnership and the similarity of our two brands." Under Navy Federal's new media outreach, the credit union expects to more buys in the spot ad market in the weeks ahead.
The GEICO insurance relationship with Navy Federal, she said, is one of several the credit union has with national companies, including Enterprise Rental Car, Hertz, Alamo and others, but the concentration of ad buys reflects a new test of the strategy, said Schneck.
The radio and print ads were created by the Martin Agency of Richmond, Va., with input from Fitzgerald and Co. of Atlanta and the Navy Federal and GEICO marketing staffs. The radio spots are 60 seconds in length.
Navy Federal's viral campaign on GEICO will extend to 13 external sites, which, for example, will include such sites as weatherdotcom and Foxsports in addition to Facebook, she said.
"Our branding effort is aimed at bringing national attention to our partnership with GEICO," said Schneck.
Navy Federal, she said, does expect to continue using traditional vehicles for its GEICO ads including Military Times, base newspapers and direct mail, but "on this we're going one step further." She did not reveal the cost of the branding effort.