Vermont credit unions are now pushing iBelong branding in a co-op TV awareness campaign that began this week.The awareness ads, which debuted in 2007 in Pennsylvania and spread last year to Illinois and Mississippi, were to begin airing last Monday during morning network TV shows and late afternoon talk programs, as well as prime-time and cable slots.The 31-member Association of Vermont Credit Unions said it has a licensing agreement with the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association to start running the ads, which it calls "high-energy media that reinforce the benefits of belonging to a credit union, federal insurance, member-ownership, better rates and lower fees."In addition, the TV spots stress the ease of joining a CU, safety and soundness, and product promotions.The PCUA said it now has more than 700 participating iBelong CUs in the three states in addition to Vermont. In recent months, it has witnessed a sharp jump in hits on the iBelong Web site, www.iBelong.org. In March, there were 2,260 hits, an increase from 800 just five months earlier.The awareness campaign is the culmination of more than two years of work and research by AVCU's marketing committee chaired by Matt Levandowski, a staffer at Heritage Family FCU in Rutland.AVCU said the ads will air over an eight-week period this spring and again in September and October.–[email protected]

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