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WCUL cooperative advertising ideas

I just returned yesterday from another trip to Seattle. This time I was up there to co-pitch the next round of the Washington Credit Union League’s cooperative advertising with Daniel Thorpe and the rest of the Boom Creative team.Their brand research focused in on a target demographic of value-conscious females ages 21 to 37. They’ve even named her “Kate.” Their aim is to promote credit unions as caregivers, which is right on the money in my opinion. Although the creative brief hasn’t been released yet, and it is irresponsible to pitch any creative concept without understanding the research, I’ve decided to unofficially put out a few ideas I’ve been tossing around. The following are only “what ifs,” but I would love to see some credit unions run with the broad-strokes concepts behind these, with or without us. The main idea I’d like you to take away from this is – engage your market, be relevant, and use interaction to talk with them instead of relying solely on mass media to talk at them. So you want to make yourself more visible and relevant to Washington’s Gen Y, value-conscious maternal figures? What if…

What if you started a podcast on motherhood?

And I’m not talking about “Financial Tips for Young Mothers Like You!” What if you created a show dedicated to parenting tips, stories, interviews with young working mothers, single mothers, book reviews, and so on. This way you produce something your members will actually enjoy checking out, position yourself as a care-giving resource, and ideally grow a community around your ideas. Need inspiration? Check out the Mommy Bloggers. Set up a blog around the podcast too, invite appropriate members to write guest posts. Encourage comments.

What if you released a suite of products and services dedicated to easing the transition into motherhood?

The transition into parenting, just like other large life events, is one of the most financially stressful times in woman’s life. Offer a free financial planning session explaining how to invest for their kids’ education. Offer a HELOC at a special rate for expectant mothers to build or furnish a nursery. Offer a free seminar on protecting your child physically (proper car seat installation, safety issues around the home, etc) and financially (avoiding identity theft).

What if you let your members’ own stories drive the campaign?

Picture this – you set up a website where your members call in, upload video, or even post a text-based narrative of an experience they’ve had with your credit unions? You could even use the submitted media as the foundation for the TV or radio spots. Blend the video clips together into a tightly-woven and eclectic narrative created by your own members. If someone calls in a story, animate it in with a storybook aesthetic.

What if you monitored public opinion of the campaign in real-time using RSS?

Using Google Blog Search, you can subscribe to specific keywords and be notified as they show up in website content. No matter what, you marketers on the Washington League should be subscribing to “Washington Credit Union League,” and your specific credit unions’ name. During the campaign you can subscribe to a campaign’s tagline (for example, McDonald’s I’m Lovin It) to keep your finger on the pulse of consumer opinion. This allows you to react immediately, instead of waiting for the polls and focus groups to hear how it’s been received. — I could go on and on, but this is getting long. The long-short is this: No matter what agency or creative concept you go with, demand interaction and experience … because that’s the only way to cut through the noise and build lasting relationships.

Second Life primer

Type is certainly where it's at