Mindful of last year’s positive feedback from Bank Transfer Day, North and South Dakota credit unions are cranking up a two-state awareness campaign this month.
The year-long campaign – “We’ve Been Waiting for You” – will include television, radio and online ads plus a grassroots tour to half a dozen cities this spring to meet with reporters and editors to remind them of credit unions’ economic role.
“People are sick and tired of being treated badly by big banks and tired of big bank fees” and yet, said Robbie Thompson, president/CEO of the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas, “too many people simply don't know about the credit union alternative, and so we intend to change that."
The campaign kicked off last week with North Dakota press conferences in Bismarck and Fargo and resumes April 17 in a “CU on the Road” tour complete with vehicle wraps.
The CUAD schedule calls for another visit in Fargo, followed up April 18 in Grand Forks, N.D., May 8 in Devils Lake, N.D., and May 20 in Jamestown, N.D. The “We’ve Been Waiting For You” TV spots rely on testimonials from credit union members in the states that are incorporated into the commercials.
The commercials were produced by the H2M agency of Fargo and follow focus groups conducted last year by an agency division, Member Tree Consultants, Thompson said.
He said the commercials show that consumers who were informed about credit unions were likely to join one. Through this campaign, the CUAD said it will convey a message that credit unions offer similar services to banks, but with better service, and stress consumer eligibility.
In addition the ads will hit on credit union lending capacity and convenience in line with the national push on member business lending.
“Credit unions have been in the Dakotas for more than 100 years, but unfortunately we are the best kept secret,” said Thompson.
Karen Andersen, president/CEO of the $16 million Postal Family CU of Fargo, said she hopes the “We’ve Been waiting for You” campaign will clear up misconceptions have that Dakotans are unable to belong a credit union unless they work for a specific employer.
Though TV cameras turned out for the Bismarck visit, the Fargo event had a problem, said Andersen. There were no reporters in Fargo, just staff and CEOs since the press got called away at the last minute to cover a police chase of a man carrying a rifle down a busy street.