Los Angeles CUs See Awareness Rise Following Campaign

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Credit unions in this very competitive media market are reporting a significant increase in awareness following a $1 million ad campaign. A radio and billboard campaign sponsored by more than 50 credit unions over the past six months in the Los Angeles market has boosted awareness and recall of the message that "anyone can join" a credit union, according to research conducted by San Diego-based Strata Research. In addition, consumers are logging onto a website mentioned in the ads that links consumers with credit unions they are eligible to join.

The campaign was overseen by the Los Angeles Area Cooperative Advertising Task Force, which was chaired by Teresa Freeborn of Kinecta FCU.

Strata Research said that it had found recall of the radio ads among non-members had increased significantly, from 34% prior to the campaign to 45%, and that there was high recognition of the message that "anyone can join a credit union." Other data showed improvements from all survey respondents, but the non-member data proved the most promising.

Prior research conducted by the California Credit Union League found that only one in two people could name a local credit union, and only one in five knew what a credit union is. The goal of the new campaign has been to address this lack of knowledge and to increase top-of-mind awareness of credit unions. The campaign raised funds from CUs in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The advertising was developed by Foote, Cone & Belding, which developed a series of humorous 60-second radio spots that feature mythical creatures such as Bigfoot, a leprechaun, an alien and the Loch Ness monster. The radio ads aired between February and July 2003. Plans are under way to continue the campaign in 2004.

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