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CEO DATELINE – CUNA to launch $100M ‘awareness’ campaign

July 9, 2018
By Walt Williams

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Credit Union National Association plans to raise $100 million over the next three years to fund a campaign to increase public awareness about credit unions and what they do.

The “Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union” campaign is an industry-wide effort to educate “a new generation of consumers” about credit unions, according to a CUNA statement. Association CEO Jim Nussle announced the campaign during CUNA’s annual conference at the end of June.

“The future of our movement depends on more Americans than ever opening their eyes to everything a credit union offers them,” Nussle said. “By leveraging modern digital media tools to reach the right consumers at the right time, we’ll create a fresh image for credit unions and challenge their assumptions about who we are and what we do.”

CUNA is pushing for a campaign because the credit union share of the financial services market isn’t growing. In material for members, the association noted the world’s largest banks spend billions of dollars annually to reach consumers, with credit unions outspent in advertising and marketing efforts $43 to $1 by banks.

The campaign will be digital-first and “hyper-targeted” to maximize the use of dollars spent, according to CUNA. The association already has invested $2 million to establish a Creating Awareness Advisory Group of marketing experts to create a campaign to “bust” two myths many consumers believe: They can’t join a credit union and they can’t access their money

CUNA is asking credit unions to donate $100 million to the effort, which will run through 2021. The group said 90 cents of every dollar will pay for national advertising while the remaining 10 cents will be used for future consumer research, creative content development and operations.

CUNA didn’t provide details about how it plans to collect the money but said the process will be transparent.