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ELIZABETH, N.J. — From the Oregon coast to Atlantic City, the credit union message of awareness, advocacy and membership underwent a large-scale tune up in 2006 conveyed by characters as diverse as Bob the Credit Union Guy or those BizKid$ from Junior Achievement. Leading the yearlong drive to test new and creative approaches to credit union branding were some 20 state leagues joined by CUNA, all of which put more funding into radio, TV and billboard messaging.

Compared to past years, the branding campaigns waged by the leagues and individual CUs had, as one CU leader put it, a “warm and fuzzy” ownership, awareness or literacy theme keyed to getting both youth and nonmembers to realize their kinship with a CU, whether it be down the block, downtown or across the state.

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