All the World’s a Stage: Credit Unions Act Out (Appropriately)

Taking center stage can be a good thing as long as you convey the right messages about your brand.


In the current state of on-demand satisfaction, it's difficult to elicit the 'wow" factor from people. One look at this year's bizarre lineup of Super Bowl commercials proves just how true this is using mass media. Companies (including credit unions) are finding remarkable ways to generate buzz and convey strong brand messages through live interaction. Here are three examples – two of which are credit union - that are doing just that. I've organized the examples by target audience, beginning with the largest audience and ending with the most concentrated.

Alfa Romeo's Balancing Act at the National Level
With pressure mounting from parent company Fiat to improve performance, Alfa Romeo decided to launch its lowest priced car ever, the MiTo. To create some buzz, the company hired marketing and ad agency Duval Guillaume to create this display now featured in high-traffic shopping centers across Belgium. The shock value promotes a clear message - "how the heck do you get that full-size Alfa Romeo to balance in what must be the world's strongest shopping cart?". The aw-inspiring feat is effective in its brand messaging. The display's engineering is in-line with Alfa Romeo's history of innovative automobiles yet still highlights the affordability of the new MiTo offering for the masses.

Northwest Community CU Turns the Community into Blenders
Northwest Community Credit Union ($620M, Eugene, OR) makes a ruckus at community events by bringing along its bicycle blenders. That's right, human powered smoothie machines. Credit union employees, guests, and even mascots get in on the blending. The bikes can also be hooked up to generators to produce electricity. Matt Purvis, Vice President of Marketing, says the credit union wants to connect several bicycles and power an entire event. If that doesn't scream "your credit union serving for your community", I don’t know what does.

Xceed Makes a Superhero Scene at the Office
Xceed Financial Credit Union ($799M, El Segundo, CA) launched a rebranding campaign in April 2008. The rebranding renewed the credit union's focus on its SEG roots and adopted a new slogan, "at work for you". One aspect of the new and improved Xceed is Numbers Guy, the Financial superhero. At SEG events, new member sign-ups and prospective SEG events, Numbers Guy is there to shake things up and build excitement. And as a financial superhero, he also answers frequently asked questions on Xceed’s website, supporting the "at work for you" slogan in all of his superhero deeds.

By spending a small amount of money creatively, your credit union can make a spectacle at events big and small, while at the same time supporting your brand.