Time Is Right For Image Campaign, CU Says

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DENVER — Public Service CU believes it is the perfect time to let its members promote the credit union.

As part of PSCU's new "Together, we're better" image campaign, the CU recorded more than 30 videos of members speaking candidly about why they like the credit union, and plans to roll out the testimonials over the next three years.

"Timing is everything," said CEO Dave Maus. "We analyzed the environment, the state of the economy, people's psyche, and we believe right now the general public has lot of distaste for the large banks. We thought it was time to beat our chest and let consumers know we are much different than for-profit financial institutions."

The commercials, Maus said, give the credit union a "hometown feel," and the CEO is on camera in many of the spots. "We thought it would be good to have the CEO speaking because you never see the CEOs of Bank of America, Chase, or Wells Fargo in their commercials."

The "Together we're better" tagline, according to Maus, effectively conveys the credit union difference without bashing banks. "It explains that we are a cooperative. The whole essence of membership says we are all part of a group that formally or informally touches each other's lives."

Maus noted that PSCU also believes the economy is turning around and that it is time for the $1-billion CU to focus on growth again.

PSCU will spend $1 million on media buys for the campaign next year, shared Marketing VP Steve Ferrero. TV, radio, billboards, airport signage and print will be the primary media.

The TV commercials are the heart of the campaign, explained PR AVP Jane Willard, who said members were not given scripts. "We put them in front of the camera and asked them what they thought about the credit union. They told us and it comes across as very genuine."

Ferrero said the tagline works on multiple levels, resonating with employees, as well. "We had a big kickoff for our staff a month before we introduced the campaign to members. We rented a movie theater for an afternoon, served popcorn and drinks, and showed the campaign. We are making a promise to our members that we are there to help them. Our employees are a big part of that promise."

Staff also appear in some of the TV spots.

Maus added that the campaign was also timed to be released right after elections because "Everyone is sick and tired of all the political rhetoric and we believe our ads are a breath of fresh air."

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