Credit unions go back to school

Media in Canadaby Craig MacBride

Central 1, the organization representing credit unions in BC and Ontario, is going to school.

Spanning TV, social media and on-campus OOH, the "Be Remarkable" campaign targets 18- to 29-year-olds with the goal of explaining the difference between credit unions and banks, Martin Reed, director of marketing and creative services, Central 1, tells MiC.

"Most people this age don't know how credit unions are different," he explains. "This shows how we [as an organization] align with the values of people this age."

In BC, the on-campus OOH includes banners and bathroom stall ads at universities and colleges across the province, as well as fake promotional ATMs at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia. Designed to look like typical ATMs from a distance, up close they are revealed to be video consoles, complete with joystick and retro games such as Donkey Kong, Frogger, and Pac-Man.

The ads and the machines, which will be on-campus until mid-October, drive students to the microsite, where humorous stop-motion videos talk up the benefits of credit unions. One of the main messages of the videos is that credit unions have "members," not customers and as such, are more community-minded and less profit-oriented than the big banks.

In their first campaign for Central 1, Vancouver-based Noise handled the OOH and online creative, as well as the online media plan and buy. The online strategy includes Google, Gorilla Nation, Olive Media, and Rouge Media online networks, as well as inventory on and via Microsoft Messenger. Video pre-roll and rich media banners were also placed on Break Media, Tremor Media and Tribal Fusion networks.

Vancouver-based Wasserman and Partners created the television ads, which are airing around Glee, The Simpsons, The Office, So You Think You Can Dance (US and Canadian versions), Hockey Night in Canada, and Grey's Anatomy. The ads will run, with a break over the Christmas holidays, until April 2011.

There is also a charitable focus to the campaign, harnessing the power of Facebook to allow anyone to tag their friends on the Central 1 page. With each friend a person tags, the credit unions donate $1 to a charity in the tagger's region.

To date, there have been 63,000 tags from across BC. The Facebook campaign continues until the $100,000 is used up.