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News Now

CU System
Super Bowl ads tout CUs
MADISON, Wis. (2/3/09)--Two credit unions used ads that aired during Super Bowl XLIII Sunday to tout the advantages they provide for members. Charlotte (N.C.) Metro CU, a $176 million asset credit union, ran an ad featuring a “fee pig” during the game, not just because viewership ratings are up for the event, but because of “eyeball glue” that holds people to the ads, said Nathan Tothrow, Charlotte Metro marketing director (Charlotteobserver.com Jan. 30). Charlotte Metro, which first advertised during the Super Bowl last year, said the ads helped the credit union nearly quadruple its growth goals. The credit union writes scripts and creates storyboards in-house instead of using an advertising agency, to save money, Tothrow added, declining to say how much was paid to advertise during the game. Research indicated that the credit union’s target demographic—25- to 45-year-old women--are fond of “fuzzy creatures,” appreciate humor and like direct messages. Tothrow wrote the script for the “fee pig” commercial, which makes fun of bank fees, recent bank mergers and the Charlotte bourgeoisie, he told the paper. The commercial will be in regular rotation as Charlotte Metro gears up its marketing after the Super Bowl and launches smaller spots to highlight specific credit union services, Tothrow added. Another credit union also took advantage of the event to advertise. Boeing Wichita CU changed its name Sunday to Meritrust CU and promoted the change with five TV spots that feature the same ad during the Super Bowl (Lawrence Journal World Feb. 1). After originally planning to introduce the name change at the beginning of this year, the credit union decided to publicize it during the Super Bowl because Super Bowl ads get a lot of attention, and the opportunity to target specific markets was inexpensive, Bob Corwin, Meritrust president/CEO, told the newspaper. The total cost of the ad was less than what Meritust spent to switch out signs at its 15 branches, Corwin added. The credit union hopes the ad will promote the name change and also regenerate interest about Meritrust in the communities it serves, Corwin said.
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