Just where Bank Transfer Day left off, the industry’s co-op ad campaigns are getting revved up this spring in the South and Midwest with the Mississippi Credit Union Association debuting its first major blitz this week.
In launching a three-month radio campaign, the Mississippi trade group said it has licensed the “Credit Unions: We’re Giving Banking a Better Name” brand from the League of Southeastern Credit Unions allowing the spillover from the LSCU’s ongoing runs in Alabama and Florida to be broadcast concurrently in Mississippi.
The 15-30 second spots will be running in eight different Mississippi markets. The LSCU campaign was recommended by an association marketing task force which looked at various co-op ad efforts from peer leagues across the country, said Charles Elliott, president/CEO of the MCUA.
Meanwhile, the Indiana and Kentucky leagues are collaborating in 2012 on their startup of the “iBelong” ad campaign, licensed from the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association. There are 54 CUs in Indiana and eight in the Louisville, Ky., market taking part. That campaign includes TV, radio and billboard placements with voluntary contributions from participating CUs.
The Indiana League through its service subsidiary is contributing $106,000 for the media buys.
The awareness message has included more than 3,600 TV spots; 2,200 radio spots and 68 billboards, said the Indiana league.
In Pennsylvania, the PCUA said it continues to get favorable public response to the “iBelong” campaign now running in seven media markets on a $900,000 budget, with CU contributions solicited on a voluntary basis.
The PCUA ran into a series of disaffiliations two years ago when it insisted on mandatory assessments, which followed the same experience as California which also dropped the required dues rule.
PCUA officials said because of the high cost of advertising in the Philadelphia market, there is an “iBelong” void but it is being compensated by results in other areas.
“Credit unions felt the cost would be prohibitive so we are simply not in Philadelphia,” said Michael Wishnow, PCUA senior vice president.
Since the launch of iBelong in July 2007 Pennsylvania CUs have witnessed a gain of 203,000 members and with the campaign contributing to the surge which came during last year’s Bank Transfer Day promotions.
“That was the perfect storm,” Wishnow said.
The LSCU and the New Jersey Credit Union League said they, too have enjoyed robust gains from the co-op awareness efforts.
LSCU said its research shows an 8% rise in Florida and a 6% rise in Alabama on CU awareness since its latest campaigns began last year.
“When bank-only customers – those without any credit union relationship – saw an ad, 20% researched a credit union. When primarily bank customers saw an ad, 34% researched a credit union with 14% saying they have moved their money to a credit union,” the LSCU said.
Third quarter Call Report data show that 48,000 new members joined a CU in Alabama and Florida, as compared to an average of 20,000 members in the previous two quarters, the league said.
“Google Analytics show that 65,000 consumers visited www.betternameforbanking.com, the image campaign website, which is a phenomenal number for a four- to six-week campaign,” the league said.
The LSCU said its co-op image campaign is set to run again in May with new TV ad, plus radio, billboard, online and website components.