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POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Just three little words that have helped Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union become the credit union members flock to -”Now You Can.” Designed to coincide with the $1.6 billion credit union’s launch of its community charter into three counties, the multimedia campaign plays up the idea that “now you can” join while also focusing on HVFCU’s rates and member service. “We felt the message needed to be clear and concise,” said HVFCU Director of Marketing Paul Stull. “We already had a good reputation in the community and we were also very well known so because of that we were able to launch this simple and direct campaign that was well accepted.” According to Stull, when talking to other credit unions that had recently converted to a community charter he was advised not to expect a huge increase in membership because it is something that develops over time. Aiming higher, Stull worked with Troy, New York-based marketing communications agency Smith & Jones to develop a campaign that would tip the odds in the credit union’s favor. The campaign, which involved print, radio, television and outdoor ads, has resulted in what Stull says is an unprecedented member growth. “We were very impressed with the immediate impact of the campaign”, said Stull. “In just a four month period, we gained more than 6,600 new members. That’s approximately an 89% increase in members over the same time last year.” Stull says it was just a matter of getting the word out. Radio spots were presented as “slice of life” ads with emotional appeal. For example in one spot people seemed to be at a party and there is countdown to either a birthday or New Year’s and it turns out people have gathered waiting for the credit union to announce its new charter and are celebrating the fact that now they can join HVFCU too. The animated television commercials feature obscure shapes with a voiceover saying “You’ve been waiting and knew it would come someday.”. The shapes build into the HVFCU logo and the announcer says “Now you can join”. “I think the reason why something so simple worked so well is because we did our homework. Not only are we well established as a community partner but our employees also hold great leadership roles in the community and various agencies and we were just well prepared, which is why I think the public could easily embrace the message,” said Stull. Stull would not discuss the specifics of the campaign’s price tag but did say that it was very cost effective. “The cost is relative. Growth is very important for the credit union because it allows us to offer better products and services to existing and new members,” said Stull “And that is a clear benefit to everyone. I say the campaign was very cost effective because it led us to a point where we nearly surpassed a full year’s goal in just six months.” In fact the credit union has pulled the ads to control and pace the growth. The ads will now be more products and services oriented. [email protected]

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