WCCU Uses Digital Screens To Entertain, Educate Members

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Members can watch Bloomberg Television and credit union marketing campaigns on a 40-inch digital screen while they wait in teller lines at Central Willamette Community CU.

"We're providing educational entertainment to our members as we draw their focus to certain products and services," said Sandy Torgrimson-Fox, vice president of marketing at the $202-million CU.

Four rear-projection displays in the CU's Salem, Ore., branch show about 10 different informational and marketing pieces in approximately eight-second intervals, Torgrimson-Fox said.

"We change the shows seasonally, she added. "The summer show has summer scenes interspersed with information about our checking accounts. We build the show around summer activities. For example, we have a retired person golfing, with the message: 'Save for Retirement.'"

Central Willamette Community CU's "Wildcat" model displays are provided by Wilsonville, Ore.-based Clarity Visual Systems, Inc.

"The shows are relaxing and fun," continued Torgrimson-Fox. "When you have the screens and information going as members are standing in line, members feel like they're spending less time."

The LCD displays complement Central Willamette Community CU's retail merchandising concept-displays, lighting and areas that highlight selected products-that drives its newer branches, she said.

"We believe that the Salem office is a busy, growing office and our retail merchandising concept works to give tellers and service representatives more opportunities to sell products," explained Torgrimson-Fox. "The screens help an idea come across to the member. When a member comments on a screen, then our staff can pick up the idea and carry it farther."

After the 30,000-member CU sported the digital displays in 2002, low-tech poster counterparts seemed relatively ineffective, said Torgrimson-Fox. "The digital displays get out more information, read like a story and don't waste paper."

Originally, Central Willamette Community CU used plasma screens instead of rear-projection to convey their campaigns. Plasma looked great, Torgrimson-Fox said, but the CU soon learned that plasma screens needed to be replaced as often as every 18 months.

"All you have to do with these digital displays is replace the light bulb once in a while," she continued. "And plasma was expensive."

Torgrimson-Fox and another employee in Central Willamette Community CU's marketing department produce the credit union's shows using Mercury Online Software's Foto-Realistic Electronic Delivery (FRED) messaging software and Adobe Photoshop photo editing software.

The four-branch CU has placed the displays in its two branches built around the retail merchandising concept. The Lebanon, Ore. branch has one display in the lobby. The Salem branch has two displays behind tellers, facing towards members in line. Another display sits at the lobby's front window facing the street, and the fourth display is in the lobby airing Bloomberg's financial reports and the CU's campaigns.

Central Willamette Community CU plans to place digital displays in all its branches, starting with two screens in its forthcoming Albany, Ore. branch, said Torgrimson-Fox.

CUJ Resources

For more info: Central Willamette CU www.centralwcu.com

Clarity Visual www.clarityvisual.com

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