Managers at the $716 million Fort Worth Credit Union learned a thing or two over the Christmas holidays about tweaking a loan product that had a long shelf life. The result: a whopping 400% increase in loan volume in two years.

"It was amazing what a little 'spruce up' can do on a product that has been around for 10 years," said Rochelle Drake, vice president-marketing.

With the help of its agency, Third Degree Advertising of Durham, N.C., the Texas CU went to work this year going online with applications, introducing eye-catching graphics, billboards and direct mail for its "Holiday Fast Cash" product employing a "wind up" theme using imagery of wind-up toys and messaging that played upon the urgency of the holidays.

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