New TV Ads Put Emphasis On Products

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Arizona Federal Credit Union has advertised on television for two years, but recently upgraded both the look and the message of its TV spots.

The credit union began a three-part advertising campaign the first week of February. Steve Kelley, assistant vice president of marketing for AZFCU, told The Credit Union Journal the twin goals were to improve recognition in the Phoenix market, and doing so with style.

"We wanted ads that would look like national product. We didn't want them to look 'local,'" he explained.

The first ad promotes AZFCU's free checking account with a woman who "breaks up" with her bank checking account. She tells the checkbook she gets better service and free checking at the credit union. The second spot shows a man having a conversation with his talking car about switching from his bank to Arizona FCU for a car loan. His car initially is upset that it might be replaced until the man explains the loan would be for his wife's new sports car. At the end of each ad, the tagline "Switch for the savings, stay for the service," is heard.

Kelley said the third ad, which will promote AZFCU's home equity line of credit, is under development and will debut soon. It will be similar to the car loan spot-a woman will have a conversation with her mailbox.

"We have done advertising for brand identity, now we are taking the next step-pitching particular products such as the checking account," said Kelley. "The first TV ad we did two years ago was very generic. It was our CEO talking to the camera, plus scenes of branch activity."

A local television station produced AZFCU's first ad. The current campaign was produced by PSB-The Marketing Supersource, a Lake Forest, Calif.-based marketing company. Kelley said credit union management was delighted with the quality of PSB's ads.

Film Makes The Difference

"PSB was budget-conscious for us and intended to shoot on video. We insisted on shooting on 35-millimeter film. We think the money spent was well worth it, because the warmth and the depth were better than we could have gotten on video."

AZFCU is running the ads primarily on morning news shows, with some evening and late night news broadcasts. Kelley said the credit union knows its audience well, and is confident the spots are reaching the target audience.

When the home equity line of credit ad is ready, it will be shown on cable shows such as "Trading Spaces," thereby targeting people interested in home improvement.

"We have gathered anecdotal evidence that people are seeing the ads," said Kelley. "We open many new accounts each month, and we always ask how the new members heard of the credit union."

"We follow our products very closely, and we know which ads are running at which time, so we feel like if there is a blip, we can attribute that to the ads," he added.

AZFCU did not have to hire more staff or make other changes to prepare for increased calls or visits because it already had an established presence, Kelley said. However, all spots are shown to employees first before they go on air so the staff will know what promises are being made to members.

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