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PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia Federal Credit Union thinks it is better than the competition and isn’t afraid to say it. In its first aggressive educational marketing move, the $460 million credit union has launched the “Better Than My Bank” campaign. “We wanted to create something edgy and irreverent like our members that would also set us apart. People in Philly don’t allude to things, they just speak their mind,” said PFCU Vice President of Marketing Karen Eavis. “So the language in the ads is intentionally direct and reflects what we deliver to our members -contemporary financial service solutions in a not-nonsense, honest and direct way.” According to Eavis, with PFCU having over 600 SEGs, nine full-service branches and after creating a new brand identity, the time was right to launch the out-of-home awareness campaign. Designed in partnership with local advertising agency The Brownstein Group, the campaign ads seem to be everywhere. Four billboards strategically placed at city entry and exit points along Interstate 95 tout statements like “BANK. Name it anything you want – It’s still a four-letter word”. Those that travel around town via public transportation aren’t left out. Three buses are wrapped with the message “This bus passes by 14 banks. And with good reason.” PFCU has also plastered the ads on all 12 Broadstreet line and some 18 Market-Frankford El line railcars. As a “captive” audience, consumers riding the subway are greeted by even more blatant messages ranging from side-by-side comparisons of fictitious GigantaBank USA and PFCU, to the story of someone wanting to withdraw $40 from a bank that ends up paying $38 in fees “just to get forty bucks”. The simple ads all feature the PFCU logo and specialty Web site BetterThanMyBank.com. The site helps visitors learn the “14 Ways Philadelphia Federal Credit Union is better than your bank” by highlighting the many benefits of membership in comparison to banks touching upon such traits as honesty, people not profits and service. According to Eavis, it is a vehicle to educate the public on credit unions, determine eligibility, and offer simple, easy-to-understand ways people can become eligible for PFCU if they are not already. In addition, the site makes tracking the two-month campaign easy. Eavis says those potential members who want to join PFCU but are not eligible are still advised to join other credit unions. “We have three goals with this campaign,” said Eavis. “To increase awareness among the general public about the advantages of credit unions in general and PFCU specifically, to provide more information about these advantages to consumers and organizations via the Web site, and to increase membership among people who have an affiliation with PFCU as well as among those who don’t.” In keeping with the tongue-in-cheek humor in the ads, potential eligible members who visit the site and opt not to join click on the “No thanks I’ll just keep paying bank fees” button and are then directed to a book written by former Illinois banker Edward F. Mrvicka Jr. titled Your Bank is Ripping You Off on Amazon.com. Eavis refused to release specific campaign costs but said, “We spent far below what most banks spend on marketing initiatives such as stadium naming rights or placing daily ads in the newspaper.” [email protected]

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