Dallas Credit Union Launching ‘Young & Free’ Knockoff

The Dallas Morning News reports that Resource One Credit Union based out of Dallas, TX is launching a competition for a “spokester” on August 13.

Contestants will submit a 500-word blog and video online during the first phase of the competition. Resource One will then select the top finalists who will have to solicit votes from their community of peers. Top finalists will demonstrate their ability to create viral buzz by creating campaigns that drive votes for their candidacy.

The candidate with the most votes will then be selected as the MyLifeMyMoney “spokester” on October 31, 2008. The winner gets use of a Scion, a phone, laptop, video camera and part-time salary for a year.

The credit union promises more details will be available at their website next week.

Resource One is calling the campaign “My Life, My Money,” coupling it with the tagline, “Banking for my generation.” That generation would, of course, be the highly coveted Gen-Y audience financial institutions across North America are targeting.

The campaign is almost identical to Common Wealth Credit Union’s Young & Free Alberta initiative that was launched up in Canada a little less than a year ago. MyLifeMyMoney copies essentially every component of Young & Free, including the overall strategy, the spokester’s responsibilities, the media used, and the incentives offered to the spokester. Even the term spokester is borrowed from Young & Free.

It’s not clear whether the credit union will be deploying a sub-branded microsite to support the campaign, but based on the Young & Free blueprint, the safe bet is “yes.”

To see the outline for the Young & Free campaign, go to the youngfreealberta.ca website and click on the “Search Archive” tab in the main navigation bar.

Key Questions:

  • Will Resource One find a spokester anywhere near as awesome as Young & Free’s Larissa Walkiw?
  • Will the credit union give the campaign the necessary offline marketing support it needs?
  • Currency Marketing, the agency that created CommonWealth’s wildly popular Young & Free initiative, is franchising the concept. How will this impact them?

Resource One’s announcement also puts to rest a question raised here at The Financial Brand earlier this year about who was behind a logo design contest at 99designs.com. The person that won that contest received $200. (Oddly enough, the contest at 99designs.com inaccurately indicates one of the runner-ups as the winner.)

The logo contest was posted by Resource One’s ad agency. What they, in turn, charged Resource One for this $200 logo remains a question.

Resource One has $265 million in assets and just over 40,000 members.

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