Credit Unions urge B.C. youth to 'be remarkable'

September 23, 2010By Eve Lazarus

Vancouver-based Central 1, the trade association for B.C. and Ontario credit unions, has launched a $2.5 million marketing campaign in B.C. aimed at youth.

The "Be Remarkable" campaign includes an online media buy, guerrilla marketing, and a tent pole Facebook application all created by Noise Digital of Vancouver.

Noise Digital came up with the idea to ask Facebook users to help distribute $100,000 to local charities on Central 1's behalf. Each time program participants tag themselves or their friends in a Facebook photo in their region, $1 goes to a charity in that region. So far, more than 63,000 tags have been generated and the page has more than 22,000 "likes."

Noise Digital also had two ATMs placed on university campuses that, instead of dispensing money, played video games. The idea, said Reed, is to show that banks are not the only option for students.

The online and guerrilla work is supported by television ads from Wasserman + Partners Advertising.

Martin Reed, director of marketing and creative services at Central 1, said the year-long campaign targets 18- to 29-year olds and aims to differentiate credit unions from banks through their values.

While that age demographic makes up 27% of B.C.'s population, it accounts for only 8% of credit union members, he said. "We need to attract some youth."

Reed said research shows the values credit unions want to project–honesty, integrity, trust and loyalty–match those of younger people, as does their interest in community and local initiatives.

"We found that there is a lack of awareness of what credit unions are about and how they can match up with what youth are trying to achieve," he said, adding that youth tend to bank where their parents bank.