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MANCHESTER, N.H. – The television spot opens with a stern CEO haranguing his executives as they sit around a conference table. “These are the worst numbers I’ve ever seen. We barely covered our closing costs on mortgages and we walked away from revenue with this `free checking.’ Combine this with our investment in online banking and it’s easy to see where all the money went.” Now the CEO smiles before he continues. “Right back to the members. Nice work, people.” The spot never mentions the competition, but the message is clear. Credit unions are, indeed, different. The image campaign, the latest from the New Hampshire Credit Union League, was rolled out earlier this month and will continue through spring of 2006. It was developed by Rain Advertising, Portsmouth, recently tapped for the account. “We put some demands on the agency in terms of turnaround time, and they did a fabulous job with that,” says Robert Kimmett, the league’s senior vp/public relations. “They were able to push it through production and really worked well with us.” In addition to airing on ABC television affiliate WMUR, which is picked up by every cable network in the state, a companion radio spot is playing on WOKQ. The campaign is also sponsoring programming on New Hampshire Public Radio. Kimmett notes the league has run an image campaign for about 15 years and used an outside agency for some 10 years. The League is not revealing the cost, but Kimmett explains the League board has budgeted money and individual credit unions also contribute based on asset size. It would always be nice to have more money and run the ads longer, he says, but he considers the amount available substantial. “One of things I particularly like about this campaign is we wanted to talk about the benefits and advantages of doing business with a credit union in our own context,” he says. “We don’t talk about our competitors, or who are competitors are, or why we’re better than they are. While the concept is always there, it remains unstated.” The current ad campaign doesn’t include print, but it does build on past efforts, he says. “A number of credit unions have great marketing efforts in their own right. What we want to do with our advertising is explain our common `last name,’ what a credit union is and why a consumer is better off doing business with our category of financial services. “Individual credit unions can start their marketing efforts from greater (consumer) understanding of what that part of their name means, and can differentiate themselves and talk about their individual advantages and brand. “Like any project that involves multiple credit unions in the league world, involvement is crucial. The program only works because credit unions are supportive, they understand the value and they participate in the process.” The New Hampshire League’s ad spot can be seen in its entirety at www.rainadvertising.com/nhcul -

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