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GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Tired of all the hoopla focused on Community Credit Union’s and OmniAmerican Credit Union’s bank conversion efforts? Not Texas Trust Credit Union! They’re capitalizing on the attention generated by the media in hopes of building their own membership. On Oct. 1, this $460 million Dallas/Fort Worth area community credit union will roll out its “Don’t Be a Sucker” advertising campaign. The launch includes six billboards located near each of the credit union’s branches and a special Web landing page that links visitors to the credit union’s Web site. A direct mail piece is planned as a follow-up several weeks into the campaign. Billboards pose the question, “Who Thinks Credit Unions & Banks are the Same?” In the photo that shows a classroom of adults, individuals raising their hands have Tootsie Pop-style suckers for heads. Billboards refer viewers to a landing page DontBeaSucker.info, which links to the credit union’s Web site. Neither the credit union’s name nor its logo appear on the board. Texas Trust’s field of membership significantly overlaps both Community’s and OmniAmerican’s, including all of Dallas, Tarrant and Henderson Counties and portions of Ellis and Johnson Counties. Does Texas Trust expect to bring in Community and OmniAmerican ex-members who are disgruntled by the conversion of their financial institutions? “Maybe a few, but I wouldn’t think the numbers would be substantial,” said Texas Trust CEO Jim Gray. “We’re not running the campaign for that reason. We’re just making the most of the opportunity created by all the attention on the converting credit unions.” “The `what’s the difference’ question comes up a lot. People don’t understand how credit unions and banks differ, because they offer many of the same products and services,” Gray said. “The fundamental difference is why we operate. We make a return to allow us to be strong and grow. Banks make a return to please their investors. Both are good, but they serve different purposes.” Those who check the Don’tBeaSucker.info Web site will find the headline, “Who Wants to Pay More For Their Next Auto Loan? Not You!” with similar sucker-head artwork. The subhead and following text reads, “You’re Not a Sucker. But Your Financial Institution Might Think You Are. If your credit union recently converted to a bank, it’s no sweet deal for you. There’s one simple reason why – banks are for-profit institutions; credit unions are not-for-profit institutions..Don’t be fooled! Keep the great financial benefits you deserve by sticking with a credit union. Make the switch to Texas Trust Credit Union today.” The credit union has added a sweet new member offer on the site of a 10% APY CD. The CD is relationship-driven; the more services a new member signs up for, the greater maximum deposit allowed for the CD. For example, with a checking account and direct deposit, a new member could have a CD with a $2,500 maximum deposit. Add an auto loan and a mortgage loan and the new member could get a CD with a $15,000 maximum deposit. “What we like about the creative is the ability to tie in different products to the same theme. Based on feedback, it has the potential to springboard into other campaigns,” said Joan Opp, Texas Trust’s chief financial officer. Dallas-based Holt Design Inc. produced the advertising campaign. “It’s a good idea to point out credit union/bank differences. If you make the comparison, credit unions come out favorably,” Gray said. “The campaign approach we’ve chosen draws attention. It gives us the opportunity to present the credit union as a better alternative.” -

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