HENDERSON, Nev. — The “Optiva” branding controversy over creditunion name selection turned out to be a prime topic for debate atCUNA's Marketing & Business Development Council conferencehere. (See related coverage on page 1-36).

|

Jumping into the fray was one of the keynote speakers, BrianCollins, chairman and chief executive of the Brand Innovation Groupof Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, who called “Optiva” a“meaningless, horrible name and you can quote me on that.”

|

“It sounds to me like a medicine for a bad illness,” saidCollins, who kicked off the four-day CUNA meeting with a talk onways CUs can add more “surprise” and dynamic storytelling to theiradvertising.

|

The doomed Optiva campaign of the University of Iowa CommunityCredit Union in Iowa City is an example of a branding practice goneawry with faulty advance planning, charged Collins.

|

Quick to counter Collins were staffers from Weber Marketing Co.of Seattle, consultant and architect for the UICCU campaign whocomplained that Collins, despite coming from a top Madison Avenuefirm, was out of his element and ill-informed.

|

Mark Weber, president of the firm bearing his name, saidCollins' remarks made to a reporter were a poor way of findingfault with a process and naming strategy “in which Ogilvy &Mather has not experienced” certainly with CUs.

|

Getting criticized for “differentiating CU brands with uniquenames” is simply part of the consulting business, said Weber citingnumerous examples of large corporations coming up with offbeatnames.

|

“Maybe he hasn't heard of Starbucks,” jibed Weber.

|

Staffers from Weber, who had a booth at the conference and hadspeakers on breakout panels, pointed to Weber success storiesincluding OnPoint Community CU in Portland, Ore.; Veridian CU inWaterloo, La., Kinecta CU in Manhattan Beach, Calif. and NorthShore CU in Vancouver, B.C.

|

In his formal talk to CUNA conference attendees assembled at theGreen Valley Ranch Hotel/Casino, Collins played on video screenssome of the most popular and prankish Dove TV commercials, createdby Ogilvy & Mather, which drew national media attention to thebrand.

|

In addition, he pointed to various Hershey's Chocolatepromotions, ads and billboards as further examples of enlightenedcreative approaches that could be employed by CUs.

|

In competing with banks, CUs ought to be taking greateradvantage of their close ties to members in pitching a favorableadvocacy message because “they have a strong, personal and uniquestory to tell.” Credit unions, he added, need not be intimidated bybanks.

|

Too often the CU message gets lost, he said, but that need notbe the case if marketers and senior management are willing to be“different, offbeat and innovative” in the branding message, hesaid.

|

Collins cited as examples of CU innovation “those powerful adsthat I saw recently” produced by Thurston Union Low Income PeopleCredit Union of Olympia, Wash., which depict human-interest storieson workers. “Those were excellent,” he concluded.–[email protected]

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to CUTimes.com, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical CUTimes.com information including comprehensive product and service provider listings via the Marketplace Directory, CU Careers, resources from industry leaders, webcasts, and breaking news, analysis and more with our informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and CU Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including Law.com and GlobeSt.com.
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.