Targeting Millennials With Social Media Financial Education Tools

IC Federal Credit Union produced a series of totally wild and zany financial education videos on YouTube that have spiked growth in Millennials memberships.

In one video about savings, claymation-style characters have the s-word bleeped out a few dozen times. In another cartoon for life insurance, zombies run rampant while the narrator describes a world of “brains and bloodshed.” The latest video starring a talking chin named “Credit Card Murphy” has been viewed over 250,000 times.

Having generated around 400,000 total videos, the six-part educational series ranks among the most successful YouTube promotions to come from the credit union sector. For credit unions, this is about as viral as it gets.

IC, which has $475 million in assets, says it spent around $37,000 on the video series so far. That works out to roughly 6.3% of the credit union’s 2012 marketing budget of $584,624.

IC says the weird, wild and whacky video series was produced with Millennials consumers in mind.

“This is the first time we have specifically targeted a generation,” Pati Maguy, Marketing Specialist at IC Federal Credit Union, told The Financial Brand. “Most of our media ads have been product specific and not geared to any one demographic.”

“On social media sites such as YouTube and Facebook where Millennials spends most of their time, they expect to socialize and be entertained, so we concluded that this was the best approach to reach them and hold their attention,” Maguy explains. “Nothing loses Millennials quicker than boring charts and text.”

The credit union’s latest video, “Credit Card Murphy,” was viewed over 9,000 times in Massachusetts alone, where IC is based.

IC says it’s seeing the results too, growing Millennials members at a rate of 2.6%.

“It’s safe to say that the 540 new Millennials members we added in 2012 generated from these views,” Maguy says.

Year # of Millennials
Members Opening
# of New
# of New
2010 744 1518 +355
2011 793 1666 +357
2012 1,008 2099 +540

“This table clearly shows a significant increase in 2012 over previous years, where no Gen Y specific campaigns were executed,” Maguy points out. “I would say the numbers speak for themselves. Years 2010 and 2011 were about the same, with little new members gained. Average 51% increase overall from 2010 to 2012!”

“Our Millennials population is a healthy 16.61% of our total membership,” Maguy add.s “That is up about 1% overall from when we started the video series last February.”

For a credit union with a shade more than 21,000 members, reaching a YouTube audience in the hundreds of thousands is significant.

To achieve those numbers, it doesn’t sound like IC had to do anything extraordinary or unusual when marketing the videos. The entire campaign was executed completely online — YouTube and social media only.

“The videos are first released on our YouTube channel and our website utilizing the embedded player feature,” Maguy explains. “We typically wait a little while, tracking views, then release it on our Facebook page. We also share them on our TV screens. In some cases, a small card handout was distributed among branches and at the local mall. And, of course, we release it internally via email and on our intranet.”

Is IC worried about sending the wrong message by making videos that could be described as silly and unbefitting a financial institution? In a word… no.

“Senior management as well as the board of directors were onboard with these videos from Day 1,” Maguy says. “There has been very little pushback, very little confusion, because we are not saying the wrong thing to the wrong audience.”

They believe the credit union has to push the proverbial envelope if it’s going to find any traction with Millennials consumers.

“No piece of advertising can satisfy all generations fully because there is a different mindset for each when they look at how they use our credit unions services,” Maguy says of IC’s approach. “I would not recommend the same investing approach to a 27 year old that I would to a 57 year old, so we have to take age groups and generational sects into consideration.”

Ultimately Maguy says it all boils down to this: “If we place their needs first, the rest will follow.”


You can check out the entire series of financial education videos on IC Federal Credit Union’s YouTube channel.

The Tale of The Landlord and Broker – 32,642 views

Budgeting in B Minor – 49,736 views

The S Word – 32,732 views

Zombie Life Insurance – 4,980 views

Credit Unions vs. Banks – 18,986 views

The spots were all produced by Massachusetts-based “radvertising agency” James and Matthew.

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