How long has VACU produced these videos? How often do you release a new one?
JL: We began in 2016 with “Fun Financial Facts Sipping Fancy Drinks” and tied that into a drink served at a local establishment. In 2017, we moved into “Fun Financial Facts Sampling Fancy Food” and then into the “Guy in Flannel” series we have going now. We try to do a couple a month.
Who is the guy in flannel?
JL: That’s Will Osborne, our marketing product manager. He has a background in advertising and marketing and is quite the sport. He lets us dress him up in flannel shirts and suits and put him in awkward situations, out in public filming, always with a straight face. He has a nice comedic touch and helps us put a human face on financial education.
How do you decide which topics and subjects to tackle and at which locations to film?
JL: Danny typically develops topics with input from our financial education team. He then looks at quirky ways to tie back into that special drink or food item.
We’ve learned to engage upfront with businesses we think might like to work with us. We might notice they have large social followings or are new and trendy. We get better results when they donate gift cards, let us film there, and promote the videos, too, that sort of collaboration. It’s been an interesting journey in that regard. We have businesses come to us now sometimes. For example, a hair salon really wanted us to come out. It was a lot of fun.
Where does Danny get the cast for his videos?
JL: A lot of times they’re from VACU. We’re fortunate to have a strangely talented group of people here. We cast a commercial recently that was all employees and our ad agency said it was insane that our people were as good as paid talent.
Danny can get people to do things they normally would never do in a workplace. He can get them to dance in accounting and on the executive team. He has great people skills and makes them feel comfortable.
How do the videos fit into VACU’s multimedia strategy, public relations strategy, and overall marketing, advertising, and branding strategy?
JL: We tie videos and other multimedia efforts into our financial education objectives and our integrated marketing, advertising, and marketing strategies. We use them to promote financial education and literacy and drive awareness and community engagement with Virginia Credit Union.
How does VACU distribute and promote the videos?
JL: We use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Sometimes we include an opportunity to win a gift card at a featured restaurant, and the restaurant helps us push out the video and promote what we’re doing.
How do you measure the impact of these videos?
JL: That’s a tough question. We’ve seen clicks, likes, and shares grow through the years, so that’s something tangible. But the videos are also about a larger awareness around financial education and VACU. That’s tough to measure.
Thirty-nine percent of VACU’s new members in 2017 were younger than 30, but our average member age is still 45. I guess that average age would be older without doing these things, but again, that’s hard to say. That’s everyone’s challenge.
So, what’s next?
JL: Danny’s taking a break right now from actively making the videos, but he’s planning his next move.
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