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"Built by you. Owned by you. That's the credit union difference."

If residents in Texas don't know it by now, they will in the coming months as their state is bombarded with billboards, radio spots (in English and Spanish), newspaper ads, web banners, pens, bumper stickers, balloons and web banners touting the message.

After many months of brainstorming and working with Allyn & Company of Dallas, the Texas league has launched a massive campaign to educate consumers about credit unions and how they differ from other financial institutions.

"We wanted to put together something that would keep credit unions top of mind with consumers," said Steve Stovall, Marketing, TCUL Marketing Manager. "With all the political activity taking place through the country right now, we felt it very important make people aware that credit unions are owned by the members."

Stovall said the theme, "Built by you. Owned by you," includes four separate images to appeal to all audiences. They are as follows.

* A little girl eating an ice cream cone. The message: Less in fees. More for treats.

* A teenager in cap and gown. The message: Less in debt. More for your future.

* A business woman. The message: Less in red tape. More for your success.

* A man with a fishing pole. The message: Less tension. More for your pension.

Two weeks after the official introduction of the campaign, feedback was promising.

"We've had a lot of calls from people asking questions," Stovall said. "And right now on my desk, I have an order for a newspaper ad and an outdoor board. And, we've been collecting orders for mass printings for the statement inserts."

The league has also developed a link from its website,, that includes a detailed list of materials available in connection with the campaign and a downloadable order form.

Stovall said credit unions are welcome to add their own logos to the materials.

In conjunction with the campaign, TCUL Communications Specialist Sally Dollar started on a statewide journey to meet with newspaper editorial boards.

While she has yet to see anything in writing, Dollar said all of the meetings thus far have been met with a lot of interest.

Stovall said he expects the campaign to run through 2004. "There is enough to it and enough different pieces to make it last."

Among the goals of the campaign are to increase credit union membership and capture the attention of public officials. Stovall said he would also love to see this campaign lead to more mainstream publications referring to credit unions in the same sentence as "banks" when discussing financial institutions.

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