Best of Credit Union Marketing Reflected in 2013 Golden Mirror Awards

Here are 10 of the credit union industry's best advertising and marketing programs from last year, including a fun Rubber Duck Derby and a crazy Vampire Survival Guide.

The Credit Union Executives Society has announced the winners of its 2013 Golden Mirror Awards competition. This year, 426 entries were received, with 152 earning awards for marketing excellence. Four entrants garnered top honors:

  • GMA Pinnacle Award – Fort Campbell FCU for their “Stomping Ground” brand video
  • GMA Best Campaign – First Entertainment Credit Union for their nostalgic auto loan rate promotion (shown below)
  • GMA Rookie of the Year – Christa Peck, Field Marketing Operations Coordinator with School Employees Credit Union of Washington for a solid social media campaign
  • GMA Golden Shoestring – Orion Federal Credit Union for their back-to-school loan campaign

Visit for a complete list of CUES Golden Mirror Awards winners, where you can also view their full entries.

Note: You can click on any of the images below to enlarge them.

Rubber Duck Derby

Credit Union: Service 1st Credit Union
Category: Public Relations
Assets: $220 million
Members: 21,000
Cost of Campaign: $5,277
Total Annual Marketing Budget: $397,000
Objective: Raise money for a charity.
Strategy/Solution: The Duck Derby is a fun and unique way to engage with members and the community. The credit union sold rubber duckies at local events and local businesses for $5.00 each (or a “flock” of ducks, 5 ducks for $20). 1,500 numbered ducks were sold, then dumped off a bridge into a river and raced for prizes.






Nostalgic Auto Loan Rates

Credit Union: First Entertainment Credit Union
Category: Coordinated Campaign
Assets: $1 billion
Members: 65,000
Cost of Campaign: $380,772
Total Annual Marketing Budget: $1.4 million
Objective: Generate auto loans.
Strategy/Solution: A very aggressive offer with a 5-year, 1.99% APR for new, used and refinanced auto loans — all wrapped around a “classic nostalgia” throwback theme.
Agency: Redbeard Communications





Fabulous Environmental Graphics Using Silhouette People

Credit Union: Woodstone Credit Union
Category: Outdoor
Assets: $90 million
Members: 10,800
Cost of Campaign: $71,825
Objective: To build awareness and increase new members.
Strategy/Solution: Woodstone dominated a major central bus station with creative materials spread everywhere: up on the garage, on light poles, on pillars, in the waiting area, on elevators, on bus shelter windows, on basically every available surface in the space so that wherever people walked they saw Woodstone’s message.
Agency: Anything Creative, LLC







Baxter Merger Communications

Credit Union: Baxter Credit Union
Category: Image Enhancement
Assets: $1.8 billion
Members: 169,000
Cost of Campaign: $14,603
Total Annual Marketing Budget: $2 million
Objective: To help ease the transition for Target Credit Union members during the merger with BCU, and to introduce them to the new range of products and services available.
Strategy/Solution: A multi-page “merger guide booklet” mailed to all 11,000 members of Target Credit Union.
Comment From The Financial Brand: Every financial institution that acquires another needs to produce a piece like this.


Vampire Survival Guide

Credit Union: Member One FCU
Category: Direct Marketing
Assets: $585 million
Members: 70,000
Cost of Campaign: $5,500
Total Annual Marketing Budget: $572,000
Objective: Raise brand awareness.
Strategy/Solution: Use an engaging Halloween/Vampire story to grab attention and attract a younger audience and get them interested in the credit union’s various products and services.
Comment From The Financial Brand: This has to be one of the craziest campaigns we’ve ever seen, and definitely one of the top three most daring Halloween promos in banking ever. Kudos for courage!


The Triple Wow!

Credit Union: Oregon Community Credit Union
Category: Coordinated Campaign
Assets: $1.1 billion
Members: 104,919
Cost of Campaign: $113,192
Total Annual Marketing Budget: $2.5 million
Objective: Launch two enhanced product offerings – Internet Banking and Online Bill Pay, as well as onboard a new product offering – MyOCCU Mobile Banking.
Strategy/Solution: One large umbrella campaign theme with three “chapters.”
Agency: HMH Agency




Classy Financial Ed

Credit Union: Baxter Credit Union
Category: Financial Education
Assets: $1.8 billion
Members: 169,000
Total Annual Marketing Budget: $2 million
Objective: Create a curriculum and series of financial education resources for members.
Comment From The Financial Brand: The program manual (shown below) is very clean, attractive and professional.



Credit Union: Horizon Credit Union
Category: Website
Assets: $500 million
Members: 48,525
Total Annual Marketing Budget: $497,300
Objective: Grow new members.
Strategy/Solution: This micro site was a part of a large campaign that was based on parodies of new movie trailers (the TV commercials used to promote films when they are released). The micro site was designed with a movie theater theme, and provided information about Horizon’s products and services. Visitors were able to use it to apply for loans or fund an account online.



New Logo From Negative Space

Credit Union: Harborstone Credit Union
Category: Logo
Assets: $793 million
Members: 53,103
Cost of Campaign: $2,500
Total Annual Marketing Budget: $1.1 million
Strategy/Solution: The flexible design lends itself to a variety of sizes and applications.


Sizzlin’ Hot Deals

Credit Union: CommonWealth Central Credit Union
Category: Direct Marketing
Assets: $365 million
Members: 35,507
Cost of Campaign: $81,326
Total Annual Marketing Budget: $600,000
Objective: Generate $3,500,000 in new loan balances including new & used vehicle loans, personal loans, VISA Platinum credit cards and home equity lines of credit.
Strategy/Solution: Variable data was incorporated into the graphics to customize the grill with the recipient’s name, as well as rates specific to them.
Agency: Data Based Marketing
Comment From The Financial Brand: The grill artwork and customized printing data makes this direct mail piece really engaging.



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