Credit Union Teases Another Campaign Against Big Banks

Who or what could possibly be hated by a bank? Rather than responding, "The line forms to the left," Houston residents were left shaking their heads at an outdoor teaser campaign that simply stated, "Banks hate us."

Two weeks later, creative was updated with additional copy: "People Trust Us." Houston residents speculated that a financial talk show or politician was behind the campaign.

I could agree with a financial talk show, or even a campaign promoting a book release from a local or nationally known financial advisor, but not a politically based promotion. The next batch of creative revealed the firm responsible for the campaign: People's Trust Federal Credit Union (who?), a local financial co-op.

The ads, created by Richards/Carlberg, also drove viewers to a flowery microsite where clickable flower are supposed to be the answers to consumer questions. One flower merely drives traffic to the actual People's Trust Federal Credit Union Web site -- while clicking on "Get Started" brings you to a page that cannot be found. The same goes for the "Share with a friend" link. Perhaps an only child created the site?

Regardless of whether or not this is a local or national campaign, these technical glitches make the brand look bad, especially when additional components intentionally drive traffic to the flawed site, increasing the number of people who will see the errors firsthand. Would you transfer your money here?

The campaign is the third I've seen recently that hit big banks below the belt. The Alabama Credit Union launched a summer campaign ripe with movie references and ads that compare bank-customer interaction to that of a personal relationship.

Umpqua Bank promoted its offerings to small businesses by targeting children with "The Lemonaire," a campaign that gave kids the equipment, namely money, to run their own lemonade stands.
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