UTFCU Uses Magic Word For Generation Y: Free

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UT Federal Credit Union here is targeting the Generation Y segment of its university-related membership with an offbeat campaign keyed to one theme: Free.

The $104-million UTFCU, which serves the University of Tennessee, said that it has long faced a big challenge in informing students of their eligibility. Seeking to boost penetration of students, UTFCU conducted several surveys with both students and future students regarding the type of financial services in which they are interested, along with their willingness to pay for them.

"From the surveys, we grouped services they wanted into a student account that was FREE, FREE, FREE," said VP- Marketing Katy Jett. "We gave them homebanking, debit cards, e-statements, a website with educational financial information, free checks, free ATM transactions at numerous ATMs around town.

With the account developed, Jett said the credit union then set out to market it.

"We wanted to be accurate and friendly because once this group gets good service it could change their whole level of loyalty and we wanted to give them information to allow them to make a decision on their own-don't tell them what they need, show them what they need," Jett said.

The result is an effort the credit union said is aimed at attracting attention, with a little "shock value" to boot. Looking to reinforce the message that the account is heads and shoulders above the rest, graphics show the back of a man's head that has been shaved. Billboards, ads in the student newspaper and an ad in the staff and student

"In two months, the credit union opened 380 new student accounts," reported Jett. "And the great thing is they were not just savings and checking accounts. The accounts averaged 3.42 services per account. They were actively utilizing the credit union."

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