NJCUL’s Statewide Banking You Can Trust Consumer Awareness Campaign
The New Jersey Credit Union League’s statewide Banking You Can Trust consumer awareness campaign uses a number of mediums to raise awareness of credit unions across the state. It encompasses both traditional and digital advertising that direct consumers to the BankingYouCanTrust.com Web site where visitors can find the New Jersey credit union that is right for them.
We also use the established Banking You Can Trust advertising as an advocacy channel by modifying our ads to coincide with our grassroots political initiatives when needed, including the Bank Transfer Day and #DontTaxMyCU campaigns.
In 2013, the New Jersey Credit Union League launched BankingYouCanTrust.com, a Web site designed to inform consumers about the benefits of credit unions, help them locate a credit union in their area, and also provide an outlet to showcase some of the industry-wide grassroots advocacy efforts currently being pursued by credit unions.
The site’s content includes articles, videos, blogs, and other information related to the benefits of credit unions, as well as items that draw attention to any grassroots advocacy efforts, and a credit union search. The search engine hosted on the site is that of aSmarterChoice.org.
Banking You Can Trust Campaign (formerly the Ad Co-Op)
The Banking You Can Trust Campaign is a way for credit unions to pool resources and build awareness about the benefits of credit unions throughout New Jersey. Both credit union investments and the League's investment are pooled together to get the most exposure for credit unions. Ads are used to spread the general message of the benefits of credit union membership to all New Jersey residents.
A popular benefit for contributing credit unions are the :30/:30 split commercials we do with some of the radio stations we advertise on as well as :15/:15 split commercials in our cable television advertising. Credit unions that make an investment can participate in these ads at no additional cost. The commercials first feature general information on New Jersey credit unions, then feature specific information and branding for the featured credit union.
Below is a chart outlining the suggested investment levels for credit unions based on asset size:
|Credit Union Asset Size||Suggested Contribution|
|Under $500,000||$100||Television Advertising Outdoor Advertising|
|$500,000 - $1 million||$200||Radio Advertising Digital Advertising|
|$1 million - $5 million||$300|
|$5 million - $10 million||$500|
|$10 million - $25 million||$750|
|$25 million - $50 million||$2,500|
|$50 million - $100 million||$4,000|
|$100 million - $250 million||$5,000|
|$250 million - $500 million||$6,000|
|Over $500 million||$7,000|
Financial Reality Fairs
New Jersey credit unions bring Financial Reality Fairs to high school students throughout the state of New Jersey. A Reality Fair is a fun, experiential way for students to learn about managing personal finances. The program is offered to high schools, middle schools, and colleges across the state at absolutely no cost to the schools. The program is sponsored by credit unions and is also supported by grant funds available through the New Jersey Credit Union Foundation.
The Financial Reality Fair is a hands-on experience where students, after identifying their career choice and starting salaries, are provided a budget worksheet requiring them to live within their monthly salary while paying for basics such as housing, utilities, transportation, clothing, and food. Of course, there are many temptations for additional spending and students must learn to balance their wants and needs to live on their own. After they have visited all the booths, students will balance their budget, and then sit down with a Financial Counselor to review their standing. The Fair is a unique opportunity for each student to experience some of the financial challenges they will face when they start life on their own.
An important component to a responsible financial lifestyle is saving. In the Financial Reality Fair experience, students meet with Financial Counselors who help them explore the importance of planning for future needs and preparing for future financial challenges through savings. While the Fair will tempt students to spend their income on “fun”, the Financial Counselors will bring the focus back to saving and thrift practices.
New Jersey schools are now required to provide high school students with financial literacy. A Reality Fair is a unique way for credit unions to help schools fulfill this requirement – allowing students to have fun while learning about finances in a hands-on, real-life way – while also teaching them the benefits of joining a credit union.
Since its inception in 2010, the Financial Reality Fairs program has reached over 6,900 students. In early 2013, the program modified its offering to be relevant to college students at the New Jersey City University and Ocean County College as well as for the junior high school students at the Thomas Wallace Junior Middle School.
As of January 2017, New Jersey credit unions have held a total of 55 Reality Fairs across the state.