Credit unions in Missouri have united to launch an advertising campaign to inform consumers that they have a better option when selecting a financial institution – and that option is a credit union. The Bank on MOre campaign is designed to educate consumers about both the distinctions and similarities between credit unions and banks.
The Bank on MOre campaign, developed by the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) on behalf of 50 participating credit unions, launched March 25, 2013 with statewide coverage in radio, print, digital, out of home and social media. The campaign, which includes messages such as “MOre Bank. Less Piggy” and “Your Street. Not Wall Street.” is designed to grow awareness that banking at a local credit union is a better choice both for consumers and their communities.
“Research indicated we needed to highlight the credit union differences in philosophy and community and dispel the myths that it’s hard to join a credit union, and that credit unions are less convenient than banks,” says Don Cohenour, president/CEO of MCUA. “It was a tall order, but we are up to the task.”
MCUA conducted extensive survey research regarding consumer attitudes toward credit unions prior to the development of the campaign. Results showed that if consumers had a better understanding of three key concepts – nearly all consumers in Missouri are eligible to join a credit union, they offer the same range of financial services as traditional banks, and credit unions are very competitive in terms of loan rates and financial benefits – consumers are more likely to switch to a credit union.
“Credit unions in Missouri have a solid handle on convenience with the CO-OP Shared Branch network,” says Cohenour. “Missouri boasts 121 locations in the network – ranking it the fourth largest financial institution network in the state. And, our CO-OP shared ATM’s number 502 across the state.”
MCUA hired APCO Worldwide in Washington, DC to develop and manage a creative campaign that would resonate with consumers and increase awareness of credit unions in Missouri. APCO specializes in movement marketing and campaigns.
The Bank on MOre campaign features print, radio, out of home, and online advertising and is weighted heavily on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.
“Social media is a great way to engage consumers,” says Marilyn Fancher, creative lead at APCO Worldwide. “These channels allow for much more organic conversation about credit unions and provide the opportunity to bring credit union members and advocates into the dialog.”
According to research conducted by APCO, social networking sites are popular for a wide range of Missouri audiences. The same research shows that 97% of young adults rely on friends and family for both general business and financial advice. With such a large pool of consumers to reach online, Fancher says using social media is the best way to deepen the reach of the campaign. Social media, she says, takes what has always worked well for credit unions – word of mouth – to the next level, building relationships and engaging consumers on their own terms.
“This campaign is set to reach 6 million Missourians and tell them they have a better choice when it comes to their bank accounts,” says Judy Hadsall, president/CEO of CU Community Credit Union (Springfield, MO). “We joined the campaign because credit unions are the best kept secret in financial services for consumers and it’s about time Missourians hear that from us!”