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SAN DIEGO – A few well-placed Gnus have helped North Island Credit Union meet a few more neighbors and vice-versa. Targeting new residents and new homeowners having relocated within a three-mile radius of each branch office, North Island CU sent `Gnu’ to the neighborhood?” direct mail pieces with special offers on interest-only home equity lines of credit and auto loans while spreading the “gnus” on its signature Island Checking. “Our research showed us that one-and-one-half to two months after moving, people may be rethinking their primary financial institution,” said North Island Assistant Vice President of Marketing Kelli Cole. “We took advantage of that window of opportunity to offer the credit union difference to our new neighbors.” As for how they selected their “ambassadors,” Cole credits brainstorming sessions. “The creative development was a fun play on words: new gnu; news, gnus. It was just off-the-wall enough to cause people to pay attention but on target with our Island Advantage messaging,” said Cole. “Gnus are very funny looking animals, but they worked well posed to mimic the famous `American Gothic’ by Grant Wood.” An initial mailing of the recent marketing campaign featuring the unique animals has brought in more than 60 new accounts to the credit union. According to Cole, so far the new member return on marketing investment is a $1 return above and beyond each $1 spent and since the creative costs have been absorbed she expects future mailings to produce an even higher return. San Diego is the nation’s 17th most populated metropolitan area and new home construction throughout the county has been booming to keep up with the growth.

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