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Contact: Mike Bridges - Director of Public Affairs
(800) 262-6285, ext. 246

Michigan Credit Unions Set To Roll Out “The Credit Union Difference” Cooperative Advertising Campaign

Radio ads, Web-based Videos and a Web site to Highlight Credit Union Safety

The Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) and Michigan credit unions aim to hammer home the message of credit union growth, (on pace for 2 million new members nationally in 2008) and soundness (assets rose 5 percent nationally in the first half of 2008), through a new, multi-million dollar campaign called “The Credit Union Difference Initiative.”  The campaign theme of “Love + Trust = My Credit Union” will consist of two phases.  The first phase is a radio advertising campaign in October that will run statewide for six weeks, and the second phase will include a customizable radio, Web and collateral campaign in 2009.

At a time when consumer confidence is being crushed by the stock market, falling home prices, increased foreclosures and unprecedented stress in the financial services industry, we are proud of Michigan credit unions’ steady financial performance on behalf of their members and communities,” said MCUL President and Chief Executive Officer David Adams. “Credit unions are the trusted and safe options for consumers during these tumultuous times.  They continue to demonstrate their ability to unite and spread that message during economic crisis through this multi-million dollar cooperative advertising campaign.

The radio advertisements and Web-based videos from both phases of the Credit Union Difference Initiative will be housed at  The radio and Web material from the first phase will supplement the MCUL’s annual Cooperative Advertising Campaign – a $1.5 million effort supported by Michigan credit unions and the MCUL which has run for over 20 years and grown to be the largest voluntarily-funded credit union cooperative advertising campaign in the nation.

participation rate for Michigan credit unions has been phenomenal with 100 percent of the 20 largest credit unions taking part.  More than 160 total credit unions in the state are participating and that number represents 80 percent of credit union assets in the state.  The total investment will be more than $700,000 in the placement of the advertisements in their different markets for the first phase of the campaign next week.

The advertisements are positive and acknowledge that all federally insured credit unions and banks are safe, but that consumers want more than safety right now,” Adams said. “They want a financial partner that will lend responsibly, be a trusted financial adviser and provide rates, fees and services that can be counted on in good times and bad.

The Credit Union Difference campaign will also be available for individual credit unions affiliated with CUNA and state leagues across the country.  They will have access to the creative materials to customize for their advertising needs, and can link to the Web site for credit union members in their state. The Web-based videos can easily be plugged into a credit union’s Web site as a complement to the radio ads.  The MCUL recognizes that CUNA, other leagues and individual CUs are launching some very creative programs to communicate the Credit Union Difference message.  The MCUL hopes by sharing its work freely it can learn from those programs to make the Michigan effort more successful.

Given the great positive message opportunities facing credit unions, we wanted to make all of our campaign creative ads available to any state league, group of credit unions or individual credit union outside the state of Michigan, as long as the ads do not allow tags by individual credit unions,” said Adams.  “This is an opportunity for credit unions individually or collectively to promote the credit union brand. Collateral materials and Web site plug-ins will be customizable for individual credit unions that support the campaign with a modest investment.

The Credit Union Difference radio ads, creative collateral materials and media buys have been coordinated by CU Growth Solutions, the full-service marketing and advertising agency headed by veteran credit union and bank marketing executive Lee Ann Mares. CU Growth Solutions is a division of CUcorp, a subsidiary of the MCUL.

The new Credit Union Difference Web site and Web-based videos are powered by CU Village, a full service information technology company. CU Village maintains over 200 Web sites across the country.  CU Village is a credit union service organization owned by credit unions, credit union leagues and other credit union service organizations around the country.

Organized in 1934, the Michigan Credit Union League is a statewide trade association representing Michigan credit unions.  Based in Northville Township with a satellite office in Lansing, the MCUL offers credit unions assistance in the areas of regulatory compliance, legislative advocacy, media advocacy and operational information.  For more information, visit the MCUL’s Web site at

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