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Affinity FCU: No fat cats allowed
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. (7/21/14)--One thing's for sure, when a credit union attacks a bank--an unusual reversal of roles--it's much more humorous.

Affinity FCU, Basking Ridge, N.J., recently rolled out an ad campaign with a fat, selfish cat as the protagonist--a big bank CEO-like kitty who's only concerned with making himself more money at the expense of consumers ( July 18).

In the TV ad, the fat cat asks two advisers rhetorically why they've gotten into banking in the first place.

"We did it to make lots of money so we can afford the Deluxe Kitty Playtime Palace, and this literal mountain of catnip," he answers for them, pointing at both items in his luxurious office.

The idea, the ad's creators say, is to illustrate the stereotypical bank, and remind viewers that credit unions are nothing like that.

As the ad puts it, Affinity is "100% fat cat free."

Tom Christmann, chief creative officer for the ad agency who developed the campaign, DiMassimo Goldstein, puts it another way.

"We wanted to personify that big bank mentality in a way that people would respond to," Christmann told Mashable . "So we thought, 'cat video' plus 'I hate banks' equals 'fat cat,' which might be the algorithm for a viral video."

A second ad in the series will hit airwaves later this summer featuring the fat cat tossing plants off of his desk in a wasteful manner. In addition to cable TV spots, the New Jersey-based campaign also features billboards and will extend to social media, online banners and YouTube.

Also, cat lovers needn't worry, as the star of the campaign isn't really fat, but is wearing a custom-made fat suit. He's also not greedy.

"He's the Robert DeNiro of cats," Christmann said. "He's the sweetest guy."

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