A Cheap Night Out, Thanks To CU

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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.-A local couple here enjoyed a date-on the cheap-courtesy of their credit union here, and then shared the details with others.

The night out was part of a promotion staged by the $475-million FAA Credit Union, which staged a "Date Night Challenge."

The Challenge consisted of going on a date with a budget of just $40, paid by FAA CU. Each couple tracked the details of how they spent their $40 on a blog. Couples were required to spend their $40 dates in the Oklahoma City metro area and support non-franchised establishments.

Katie Gillian, the credit union's senior marketing specialist, told Credit Union Journal the original field of 49 contestants was narrowed down to four finalist couples (all members of the CU), three of whom submitted their write-ups, one of whom was disqualified for not doing so. Voting took place online at FAA CU's Facebook page [www.facebook.com/faacreditunion] and via its Twitter feed March 7 through 11.

Duane and Deborah Brown were selected as the winners of the $250, with 78 votes, Gillian said.

"We had a total of 161 votes, primarily on Facebook with just a couple coming from Twitter," she reported. "We thought it was a fun event that got the community involved in a social media effort. There were no strings attached, but it definitely got our name out there. We received a much larger response on Facebook compared to any previous social media event we've tried."

The Browns will receive $250 in cash for a "night on the town."

'Something Different'

The goal of the Date Night Challenge was to do "something a little bit different," Gillian told Credit Union Journal, adding it was an opportunity to differentiate itself from "stuffy" financial institutions and associate FAA CU with "fun." It also wanted to generate more interaction on its social media sites at Facebook and Twitter.

Mission accomplished in both cases, she reported.

"This social media contest has far surpassed any of our previous contests in the amount of response we received both in entries and in voting," Gillian said. "And, we've already had a few members comment on Facebook inquiring about our next Date Night Challenge. It was nice to see the members asking us to bring it back. We probably will, but not before the end of the year. February works well with both the America Saves initiative and Valentine's Day."

FAA CU has more than 45,000 members and serves members in Canadian, Cleveland, Grady, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties.

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