iBelong Looks To Expand To iPad Generation

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HARRISBURG, Penn.-With Pennsylvania CUs backing the iBelong cooperative advertising campaign for at least another year, the league is looking to add a Gen Y component.

Supported by statistics showing consumer awareness of Pennsylvania CUs is up, the Pennsylvania CU Association opted to extend its iBelong cooperative advertising campaign (Credit Union Journal, Oct. 11).

Mike Kaczenski, PCUA vice chairman and CEO of Sun East FCU in Aston, Penn., said attendees at a recent large CU CEO Forum all backed extending iBelong.

iBelong has been running for 3.5 years, and the league annually adds a new component to keep the advertising fresh, explained PCUA SVP Mike Wishnow. "Historically we primarily target females ages 25 to 49, because they have been proven to be the decision-makers."

One 2011 goal is to "steer younger" and the campaign may add web and social media elements, according to Wishnow. A league steering committee met with Filene Research Institute Executive Director Mark Meyer to discuss effectively reaching Generation Y.

Kaczenski noted that credit union growth in Pennsylvania had lagged behind the national credit union average for the 25 years before iBelong was introduced, but is now exeeding the national data.

The campaign is paid for out of the league's annual assessments-2011 installments were reduced by 33% from 2010. The assessment rate is tiered based on asset size, Kaczenski explained that credit unions save when they piggyback on the league's media buys for iBelong, getting the same rate the league receives from Target Media. "Credit unions save as much as 25%. I know the money we spend at Sun East on iBelong (through assessments) is made up by the savings we receive through the media discount."

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