This fall, get ready for a zombie invasion.
If James Robert Lay, grower of relationships at branding-marketing firm PTP New Media has his way, zombies will be found at credit unions across the country.
With loan growth a common concern, Lay and his team tapped into the pop culture appeal of zombies as a way for credit unions to stand out in their bid for auto loans and credit cards.
“Last year it would’ve been vampires, but zombies are big now,” said Lay. “The idea is to do what we can to bring a little pop culture into the movement that consumers can relate to on an emotional level. A credit union can cut through all the marketing noise and get people talking about your brand.”
He added that zombies have a generational appeal, not just with today’s generation but among boomers as well because of the retro science fiction feel.
Revolving around helping members survive a zombie invasion, the campaign includes print and online collateral and offers internal creative strategy. In addition, the customized campaign, which provides zombie swag for staffers, will be limited to one credit union per region.
Lay was inspired by a Center for Disease Control campaign about disaster planning preparedness. It got him wondering just what would members need to survive a zombie invasion? The answer, a car to get out of town and a credit card.
“The CDC zombie campaign was so popular it crashed their servers, and I thought why couldn’t we pull something like this off for credit unions to help build their loan portfolios,” said Lay. “It’s amazing to see how quickly it’s been taking off. We wanted to give credit unions something they wouldn’t even have to think about.”
It’s a new direction for the firm that likes to “destroy the box,” and so far six credit unions have signed up for the October campaign.
“Marketing budgets are so tight that we wanted to help pump some life back into credit unions. Just imagine having your front line staff dressed up like zombies on Fridays in October and members banking with a zombie,” said Lay.
“How many times does that happen and how much buzz would that create outside the experience? When we were filming the video promos and went out to lunch in our full zombie gear, you would not believe the comments, looks and conversations it started. I guarantee we would’ve opened a couple of accounts that day," he said. "Really, the smile on their faces was priceless; we offered a change in their daily routine. It comes down to idea of experience and giving members something worthy to talk about and that zombie experience is one they’ll remember and share.”