KILLEEN, Texas – A little girl eating ice cream looks down atdrivers on roads surrounding the central Texas towns of Killeen,Belton and Copperas Cove. Her message is “Less in Fees. More forTreats.” She's part of the outdoor advertising Hoodview FederalCredit Union is using to build awareness of the credit uniondifference. Hoodview FCU is the first credit union to postbillboards in support of the “Built by you. Owned by you” statewidead campaign launched in late 2003 by the Texas Credit Union League.“The `Built by You. Owned by You' awareness campaign summarizeswhat credit unions are all about and illustrates how we'redifferent from other financial institutions,” said Mary AnnNickolai, Hoodview FCU marketing manager. “Many consumers areconcerned about fees, so [`Less in Fees. More for Treats' is] avery appropriate message.” Hoodview FCU has purchased space onthree area billboards and has customized the stock message with itsown name and logo. The $90 million-in-assets Hoodview FCU holds acommunity charter that encompasses all persons living, working,worshipping or attending school in the counties of Bell, Coryell orLampasas. In addition, credit union membership is open to some 90select employee groups. The credit union also has placed “Built byYou” posters in its lobby to reinforce the message. As its centralelement, the campaign uses photographs of people in varying stagesof life enjoying the benefits and services associated with creditunion membership. The tagline on all campaign material is, “Builtby You. Owned by You.” Several versions of the ad highlight uniquebenefits of credit union membership. “The different versions of thecampaign images appeal to all different generations and aredemographically diverse,” said Nickolai. Nickolai emphasized theimportance of Texas credit unions participating in the cooperativecampaign to increase awareness among consumers. “I think it's awonderful statewide campaign. As members and potential memberstravel the state, they'll see a consistent theme. The unifiedcampaign puts us on a more level playing field with other financialinstitutions. Individually, this might be more difficult toachieve, but collectively, Texas credit unions can make it happen.”Collateral materials, such as statement stuffers and radio ads,have been produced and made available to credit unions by TCUL'sMarketing Resources Department. Credit unions' response to theintroduction of the campaign materials was favorable, according toMarketing Resources marketing manager Steve Stovall. “We have had asignificant number of credit unions order statement stuffers tomail to their members and to distribute in their lobbies and drivethroughs, but Hoodview was the first to take the message tobillboards,” Stovall said. -

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