Navy Federal Credit Union is launching a humorous campaign this month during the Olympics.
Like most brands, the credit union’s marketing tone during the pandemic has focused on the challenges for customers, said Pam G. Piligian, senior vice president, marketing and communications, Navy Federal Credit Union.
“It’s the right time to launch an entirely fresh, new campaign that entertains our long-time and potential new members, with a humor that reflects our brand,” Piligian says in a press release.
The national effort, themed “Our Members are the Mission,” imagines what life would be like without the credit union.
The agency, MullenLowe, was tasked with featuring multiple branches of the military in the campaign, given that NFCU services active duty, veterans and their families from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Space Force.
The creative and production teams work with a military consultant and veterans on the NFCU team and at MullenLowe to ensure that casting, wardrobe, and tone is on the mark and accurate.
NFCU and MullenLowe also worked with Vets2Set, an organization that helps military veterans find work on production sets.
The spots begin with members talking about the benefits of the credit union. They all say, “I can’t imagine where I’d be within them.” The mood quickly changes as dramatic scenes unfold in a world without Navy Federal Credit Union.
In “Freeze,” a member discovers she left her NFCU credit card at a restaurant; her friend takes her on an action-movie-like car chase back to retrieve it before it is compromised."Car Wash" leaves a member and his friend in the middle of a car wash tunnel without his car, getting sprayed, scrubbed and dried.
"Game Console" imagines buddies resorting to a halfhearted game of charades without their gaming system as entertainment. “Treehouse” features kids playing in a DIY treehouse built by a couple who paid for it with their extra savings. Suddenly, the parents are taken aback as the kids are clinging to branches with loud squirrels and no treehouse.
“This is our first big campaign for Navy Federal Credit Union where we could start from scratch and create a funny and consistent concept with NFCU as the hero,” said Jon Ruby, group creative director at MullenLowe U.S. “The sly humor is an outlier in the category, which tends to be a little more straightforward, conservative and serious.”
MullenLowe’s sister agency, Mediahub U.S. handled media for the campaign.