Turn local celebrity power into effective marketing.
NY City has the naked cowboy, Venice Beach has Herry Perry. Hometown heroes, local celebrities... whatever ever you call them, their eccentric styles and memorable personalities have a unqiue appeal. And if there's one thing they know well, it's effective self-marketing.
Their characters are already developed; their fan base is there, they have websites, FaceBook fans, T-shirts and even actions figures, so why haven’t more institutions deployed the help of these larger-than-life characters in their marketing strategies?
Erie General Electric FCU gave it a shot. In turn, they saw the highest quarter of checking account openings in their history; with an amazing 60% opened by members aged 18-30, reports thefinancialbrand.com. The secret to their success was local celebrity Donnell Jordan, aka Bubbaluv. As it turns out, Erie’s “biggest sports team fan,” is a fan of credit unions as well.
Well known in the community, BubbaLuv was initially enlisted for a commercial with the credit union’s CEO but the relationship blossomed from there. Now, Erie General even sponsors a special BubbaLuv section for NBA-D league games and gives away tickets so members can get their Bubba fix outside of the credit union.
“We are always looking for fresh ways to promote the credit unions to Gen-Y,” said CMO Trent Mason in the article. “Because he [BubbaLuv] had a young adult following and he was a credit union member for over two decades, it was a great fit.”
Mason continued “The agreement with us has always been to jointly promote each other as best we can. It’s authentic on both sides, so it works… We love this guy, he loves us. It’s a lot of fun!”
The fun earned the credit union some recognition. At the 2011 Marketing Association of Credit Unions conference, Erie General Electric FCU won the gathering's highest honor (the Maquee).