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News Now

CU System
Co-op ad campaign underway in Michigan
PLYMOUTH, Mich. (4/9/08)--The Michigan Credit Union League launched its 2008 Cooperative Advertising campaign Monday. The campaign, Michigan Credit Union Brand Campaign (MCUBC), was launched with state credit unions’ annual media campaign on television, cable and radio. Ads will run on television for 10 weeks in all major markets. In small markets where TV is not practical, cable or radio ads will run for six weeks. The campaign is voluntary. About 54% of credit unions in the state are participating--with 34 credit unions participating for the first time. About 160 of Michigan’s credit unions and five chapters financially supported the campaign, and 15 other credit unions have made commitments. “We’ve made cooperative advertising part of our high priorities,” David Adams, Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) president/CEO, told News Now. Along with advertising, the league has grassroots lobbying and community reinvestment in its three-tiered approach to growing the credit union movement. “It’s like three legs to a stool,” he said. “It’s part of getting the message out.” Michigan credit unions have participated in cooperative advertising for 20 years. “We’ve been at this for a long time,” he added. Credit union contributions to this year’s campaign total $823,484. The league approved $641,463 in matching funds--equal to the amount contributed by credit unions by Feb.1. The total media budget is nearly $1.5 million. The campaign’s television and radio ads tie into Michigan’s economy. They feature an educator and factory worker discussing how credit unions help people when other financial institutions don’t, Adams said. The league also has marketing materials--including lobby posters, statement stuffers, take ones, counter cards, direct mail and print ads--that can be used by credit unions to target membership. The theme “ties into the social mission of credit unions,” Adams said. MCUL uses pre- and post-campaign research metrics to measure the perception and awareness of credit unions as a primary financial institution and provider of products and services. “As we’ve stepped up cooperative advertising, we have very strong levels of credit union awareness,” he said. Cooperative advertising is not shared-cost marketing, Adams emphasized, even though the league’s campaign may appear to function as such. It’s an advocacy effort. “It helps with growth challenges,” he said. “We have great plans for the future.”


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