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Article Image: Q&A: Youth Marketing for Financial Institutions

Q&A: Youth Marketing for Financial Institutions

The Financial Brand sat down with James Flores, head honcho of Subcat Marketing. Subcat specializes in helping financial marketers reach “sub-categories” such as kids, teens, young adult and family markets. The agency develops fully-custom youth marketing and education programs for financial institutions across the country, and also offers a turnkey program for teens called The […]

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Article Image: 20 Credible Ways to Say You’re Safe & Sound

20 Credible Ways to Say You’re Safe & Sound

You may have heard that the economy could start its recovery sometime this year. Or maybe you believe that the financial industry’s worst months were back in October and November last year. If so, you might be tempted to think that the pressure to communicate your financial institution’s strength, stability, soundness and security has subsided. […]

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Article Image: Credit Unions, Welcome to the Financial Crisis

Credit Unions, Welcome to the Financial Crisis

Before last Friday, credit unions had remained fairly immune to the fallout from the financial meltdown. But with the implosion of U.S. Central and WesCorp, credit unions are now knee deep in the economic crisis. Welcome to hell… Credit unions have some serious explaining to do. What happened? Who did what when? What’s the difference […]

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Article Image: AIG’s Security Tips for Surviving an Angry Mob

AIG’s Security Tips for Surviving an Angry Mob

An AIG corporate security memo, leaked to Gawker, advises employees on how not to fall victim to the populist horde calling for their heads. Click to enlarge. Here’s to hoping your financial institution never, ever has to issue a memo like this.

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Article Image: More Proof that PR Overpowers Financial Ads

More Proof that PR Overpowers Financial Ads

More proof that PR is overpowering financial advertising messages comes from — of all places — Nielsen, the TV ratings people. Understandably and quite predictably, Nielsen set out to prove that financial institutions would benefit from more advertising. Their theory was that financial institutions that do not advertise are risking the perception that they have […]

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Article Image: Creative Showcase: Wishing Well, Valentine, Plastic World

Creative Showcase: Wishing Well, Valentine, Plastic World

BECU – “Can Do” Fast-paced, catchy music and a strong message in this well-produced spot for Washington state’s largest credit union. Sparkasse Bank – “Wishing Well” Sparkasse, one of the largest banks in Germany, recently produced an extremely engaging and creative out-of-home marketing campaign. They spelled out messages using coins at the bottom of wishing […]

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Article Image: Notably Quotable: Capitalism, Failure and the Economy

Notably Quotable: Capitalism, Failure and the Economy

“Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin.” — Economist Allan Meltzer “Most financial history is useless at this point. Even well-known economists grasp for examples of periods that are comparable to current conditions.” — Douglas McIntyre in Time Magazine “Close them down, get them out of business. If they’re dead, they ought to be […]

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Article Image: Name Change Wrap-Up for Spring 2009

Name Change Wrap-Up for Spring 2009

Bank runs into all kinds of trouble with ‘Cornerstone’ The bank said it needed to change names to expand beyond its geographically-limiting moniker. Unfortunately, the bank not only chose a common name — one that is already trademarked, and used ubiquitously by others — it “borrowed” the logo of another Cornerstone. One customer was angry […]

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Article Image: How to Handle an Ugly PR Mess

How to Handle an Ugly PR Mess

What would you do if your financial institution found itself in the middle of a PR fiasco? Take a look at this situation involving Navy FCU, then check out six tips for how to handle an ugly mess like this.

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Article Image: These Ads Might Piss Off Federal Regulators

These Ads Might Piss Off Federal Regulators

Last week, The Financial Brand wrote about how the FDIC and the NCUA are cracking down on financial institutions that attack the safety or soundness of any financial institution (or category of financial institutions). Their fear is that such ads might trigger an unwarranted run on deposits. So how will federal regulators feel about these […]

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Article Image: PR Completely Overshadows Ads as Financial Crisis Lingers

PR Completely Overshadows Ads as Financial Crisis Lingers

People don’t want to hear what most financial institutions have to say right now…that is, unless they are apologizing. As a recent Newsweek article points out that “Public anger at financiers is at levels last seen in Moscow circa 1917.” The truth is that the financial industry has painted itself in a corner, one that […]

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Article Image: Trend Alert: Online Financial Makeover Reality Contests

Trend Alert: Online Financial Makeover Reality Contests

This year, credit unions across the country are offering “savings challenges,” reality-based contests in which selected finalists compete to achieve specific savings and debt reduction goals (see 8 examples below). Participants work with a financial planner on a set of realistic yet ambitious financial goals. Over the next 10-12 months, their ongoing progress is made […]

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Article Image: Censored! Federal Agencies Afraid of Fear Mongering

Censored! Federal Agencies Afraid of Fear Mongering

NCUA quashing any form of finger pointing Last month, a credit union lodged a complaint with the NCUA about a rival credit union’s website. The credit union wasn’t happy that Glendale Area Schools FCU had publicized an unflattering rating from Bauer Financial. The NCUA promptly fired off a letter to Stuart Perlitsh, CEO/Glendale Area Schools […]

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Article Image: People Looking for a “Silver Lining” But Buying “Ammo”

People Looking for a “Silver Lining” But Buying “Ammo”

The Financial Brand used Google Trends to see how the economic crisis was affecting people’s feelings about their finances and the general state of things. The Google Trends tool searches Google’s records to see how often people search for certain terms. It graphs out the relative frequency with which these terms have been searched over […]

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Article Image: Massive Bank Failures Must Be on the Way

Massive Bank Failures Must Be on the Way

$500 billion FDIC bailout forebodes massive failures Late last week, the U.S. Senate proposed to allow the FDIC to borrow as much as $500 billion from the Treasury Department. While the mainstream media obsesses over the seemingly never-ending stream of colossal bailouts pouring out of Washington, another — arguably more important angle — is going […]

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Article Image: Credit Union Gives Snarky ‘Greeting Card’ to Banks

Credit Union Gives Snarky ‘Greeting Card’ to Banks

Coast Capital Savings is collecting hundreds of signatures of Canadians in what the credit union is describing as “B.C.’s biggest greeting card.” The tongue-in-cheek card thanks big banks for charging Canadians $3 billion in fees annually. Big banks, big fees, one big ‘Thank You’ card Canadians are being invited to make a big statement — […]

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Article Image: This Is a Bad Sign: Inaccuracies Will Give You Brand ‘Incontinence’

This Is a Bad Sign: Inaccuracies Will Give You Brand ‘Incontinence’

On one hand, this sign from Congressional Federal Credit Union is so funny, it will have you peeing in your pants — maybe literally. On the other hand, “incontinence” is nothing to laugh about, because this is a serious matter. Why? As innocent as typos + misspellings may be, they equate with inaccuracy. Inaccuracy is […]

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Article Image: Portfolio: Allegiance Credit Union

Portfolio: Allegiance Credit Union

Six years ago, Allegiance Credit Union based in Oklahoma City, became Third Degree Advertising’s first credit union client. Since then, the agency has helped dozens of other credit unions and state leagues. In addition to Third Degree’s work for Allegiance, you can check out their latest projects at their website. Allegiance Credit Union, with around […]

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Article Image: Over 1,000 Names for Banks & Credit Unions… For Free!

Over 1,000 Names for Banks & Credit Unions… For Free!

Here’s the easy way to pick a new name for your bank or credit union…and run into some serious trademark problems while you’re at it. All you have to do is pick something from Column A and pair it with Column B, like “First Choice Credit Union” or “NewView Bank.” COLUMN A COLUMN B First 1st […]

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Article Image: Turmoil in the Financial Industry = Good Phishing Waters

Turmoil in the Financial Industry = Good Phishing Waters

The financial industry is being rocked by an unprecedented level of mergers, acquisitions and failures. You can count on a fresh batch of FDIC/NCUA seizures every Friday. Estimates vary, but it is expected that the financial crisis will claim between 300 and 1,200 banks before it’s all over. The latest prediction from RBC says 1,000 […]

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Article Image: Get Your Financial Trademark Now, Before It’s Too Late

Get Your Financial Trademark Now, Before It’s Too Late

Financial Trademarks 1976-2008 In 1996 there were just 67,000 Class 36 trademarks on file with the USPTO. But in the last decade, that number has more than tripled. Today, there are around 250,000 registered financial trademarks. In 2008, the financial industry saw the largest increase in financial trademarks in the last decade, adding 13,864 new […]

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Article Image: Notably Quotable: Reflections on the Economic Crisis

Notably Quotable: Reflections on the Economic Crisis

“The public doesn’t understand how the system works, so we look for things we do understand, like banks not making loans and people spending money to redecorate their offices, or sponsor a ballpark, or buy a corporate jet, or pay out annual bonuses. These things are immaterial to the reality of the problems facing the […]

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Article Image: The New Art of Measuring Marketing’s ROI

The New Art of Measuring Marketing’s ROI

When financial marketers bring up new media tools, it’s quite common for CEOs to ask questions like, “What’s the ROI of having a blog?” Marketers say, “It doesn’t cost anything” (which isn’t really true). From there, the argument often devolves into subjective differences and a matters of opinions. Reality Check: When someone asks about ROI, […]

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Article Image: Financial Industry Websites You Should Be Checking Out

Financial Industry Websites You Should Be Checking Out

There are many fantastic resources available to financial professionals on the web these days. It’s simply amazing how much good information is out there — for free. But here are a few of the best sites (in no particular order) you may not have heard of, or that maybe deserve a second look. Indeed, there […]

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Article Image: Portfolio: Hyde Bank’s Upscale Brand Image

Portfolio: Hyde Bank’s Upscale Brand Image

An upscale banking image. Everything you’d ever want to know about the interior design of this 77-year old banking hall is in an article from VMSD. Brochures Grand Opening Direct Mail Piece http://hydeparkbank.net Client: Hyde Park Bank • Agency: Grillo Group • Architect: Florian Design Consultants: The Engineering Studio

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Article Image: Credit Unions to Pay for Their Day in the Sun

Credit Unions to Pay for Their Day in the Sun

Why are credit union executives frolicking around an exotic Caribbean resort while thousands of miles away, their industry’s leadership cries to Congress about “hard times” and the need for a TARP bailout? That question — fair or not — will apparently be the central theme of an ABC News investigative report expected to air sometime […]

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Article Image: Portfolio: Darby Bank’s Brand Identity Makeover

Portfolio: Darby Bank’s Brand Identity Makeover

The agency that led Darby Bank’s rebranding, the Kidd Group, says they uncovered one common thread in discovery sessions with the bank — their core values: Integrity, Commitment, Excellence, Teamwork, Energy and Ability. Kidd Group turned those values into a brand acronym, ICEATEA (the bank says it’s pronounced ICE-T), that Darby takes very seriously. “Our […]

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Article Image: This Common Bank & Credit Union Tagline Equates to a “Life” Sentence

This Common Bank & Credit Union Tagline Equates to a “Life” Sentence

“Your partner for life!” “Solutions for life!” “Banking for life!” Many financial institutions use this common two word phrase as part of their tagline. It makes logical sense for a bank or credit union to use this phrase, “…For Life.” It has a nice double meaning. On the one hand, it means, “for everyday living.” […]

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Article Image: Motion-Sensing Retail Window from Citizens Bank

Motion-Sensing Retail Window from Citizens Bank

Using motion tracking, pedestrians can interact with the display, signaling birds to come flying in and drop coins, grow plants, create wind to blow the plants around and spray pollen, etc. The display is also time-reactive, automatically changing themes depending on the time of day. This interactive display (video) for Citizens Bank will go in […]

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