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Maine league's message: 'Now is the time for a CU'
PORTLAND, Maine (1/14/14)--The sense of urgency is clear: Now is the time for a credit union --for convenience, for lending and for being a trusted financial partner.
 
That is the message behind the Maine Credit Union League's statewide awareness campaign, which is going into its second year.
 
"No matter how a member or potential member saw us, we had a consistent message: Look to us for all your needs," said Debra Trautman, league assistant vice president of corporate marketing.
 
 
Members who want convenience are reminded of shared branching networks--a unique credit union characteristic, surcharge-free ATMs and mobile capabilities such as apps or websites.
 
The latest 30-second commercials show how credit unions can "make it happen" for home or auto loans and how more Maine people are joining credit unions because they offer true financial value.
 
"Make It Happen" is the key part of the social media campaign that will use #MECreditUnions. The league is seeking photos, Tweets and Facebook posts that show how credit unions helped consumers accomplish or obtain something positive.
 
"Our goal is to make a giant mosaic where members can see what other people use," Trautman said. There was a lot of engagement with the #DontTaxMyCreditUnion campaign in Maine, she said, adding, "We knew we could get them to share their stories."
 
The total media buy for 2014 is $600,000 including Young and Free Maine. "Now is the time for a credit union" will be distributed via traditional television commercials, community event sponsorships as well as voice-over spots on Pandora and Spotify.
 
The first year's goal was to increase awareness among members and directly reinforce the benefits of credit unions over banks (News Now 1/14/13).
 
The market responded with approval of the positive message, a reported increased knowledge of what a credit union is and an appreciation of the ATM and shared branching networks. Maine has nearly 240 ATMs in its surcharge-free network.
 
When convenience is featured, those shared branching transactions increase, Trautman said.
 
Through the first three quarters of the year, assets at Maine's 61 credit unions increased 4%, nearly $250 million. Assets collectively totaled $6.1 billion. Loans volume improved 5.6% to $4.1 billion for the year, with shares coming in with a 4.3% increase to $5.2 billion.
 
Membership is at an all-time high of more than 636,500 members statewide.
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