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LANSING, Mich.-Credit unions are doing anything but taking the summer off when it comes to advertising, especially on the airwaves.

Several credit unions and associations in different markets last week announced plans to aggressively role out campaigns designed to boost awareness and membership.

The Michigan CU League has budgeted some $4-million and launched what it said was the largest ad campaign by credit unions in the state's history.

In the Washington and DC markets, the Maryland and DC CU League added new components to its "What's In It For Me" campaign, including new radio ads and social media (see related story).

In Florida, Innovations Credit Union organized "flash mobs" in choreographed dance routines that became viral hits when uploaded to YouTube (see related story).

And in Washington State, filmmakers won a regional Emmy award for a viral ad featuring 131 man-sized kites representing each of the state's credit unions (see related story).

The Michigan campaign emphasizes that as a credit union member, consumers truly own their money. Using the theme, "Own Your Money. Join a Credit Union," the multi-million dollar TV and radio campaign touches on the "rewards of credit union membership," such as lower fees, better rates and available credit, and highlights the differences between credit unions and other financial institutions.

Adams said Michigan credit unions and league affiliate CUcorp have contributed approximately $4 million to underwrite the advertising's cost. A second wave of advertising is planned for the Fall. The ads also make mention of CUcorp's Invest in America program.

"Consumers today want more control over their finances, and credit unions are a perfect alternative for people who want to keep their money close to home, working for them and their community," said MCUL President David Adams.

The campaign, which includes two new TV ads and radio commercials, is airing statewide and was created by McCann Erickson Worldwide.

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