I Don’t Do Piggy Banks

When you think of an ad for a financial institution, what immediately comes to mind?

There is the woman who dangles keys outside the car window. That’s perfectly natural… sigh… when we get a new car. Then there’s the tiny house – that perfectly square illustration we’ve come to know since we were 3 years old. And then there’s the piggy bank, that clay or plastic oinker we drop coins in that is a natural tie-in to savings.

Yeah, I avoid those clichés like the plague. They rarely are persuasive. For sure they are icons, but they don’t speak with intention, purpose or persuasion. And with these symbols so prevalent in our industry, they no longer grab attention (if they ever really did).

When we advertise our credit union or community bank, it shouldn’t be a simple exchange of information. We’re in the business of changing lives. You need a marketing message that resonates. Here are three real examples:

‘This is Jacked Up’
This was a headline for an auto campaign with a photo of a large pickup truck. It even had lightning bolts along the side of the vehicle. For those members who suffer through “truck envy,” we have every Alpha male’s dream pictured here. The headline, “This is Jacked Up,” applies to not only the vehicle, but the offer to beat the consumer’s current auto rate or receive $100 if the credit union can’t.

‘Bank Fees Doing Dino Damage?’
An image an inflatable T-Rex chasing people in a park helped shed some light on why consumers should switch from one of the “money hungry” banks to a community-chartered credit union. For those chomping to make a switch, this ad was a playful, clever way to capture attention and spur a conversation.

‘Open Your World’
Imagine a picture of a young girl leading her family from outside a well landscaped home with a plate of scrumptious food. It’s the unofficial start of summer (Memorial Day), with splashes of color found throughout the frame. With a headline of “Open Your World,” we make a connection between home improvement and a love of family. The ad lists some of the core home improvement projects one can achieve with a Home Equity Line of Credit. A beautiful house. A beautiful family. A beautiful time of year to make a house a home.

Note Well: Your goal is to attract your best members/customers. Who is your ideal consumer? Allay their doubts and fears, answer their most pressing needs or wants, and communicate how your solution creates meaning – why your products or services really matter in their lives. You want consumers who get excited about what you do. Don’t just sell yourself. Consider how your message makes people feel.

Frank Allgood has more than 20 years of experience in every facet of public information and marketing communications. As Vice President of Relationship Development for Your Marketing Co., he is responsible for strategic brand experiences and marketing initiatives for credit unions across the country. For branding or rebranding projects, call 864.326.8740 or email frank@yourmarketingco.com.

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