Client: CU Service Network
Brief: In 2018, credit union B2B CU Service Network requested a series of promo print ads in the leading industry publication Credit Union Magazine. The goal was to increase brand awareness nationally, since the company had just expanded to a national presence. My personal goal was to create a piece that would look entirely different from the rest of the ads in the magazine, which were stock-photo heavy and filled with colorful gradients.
Challenge: Creating ads that supported brand awareness but also linked back to something tangible and recognizable in the industry, i.e. the traditional credit union tagline of “people helping people.” I wanted to refrain from using any stock photography and create something hand-drawn, but not give impression of juvenile.
Solution: I embraced the old-timey cartoon style of Max Fleischer and created an entirely new credit union persona that CU Service Network could use as a mascot of sorts. Spinning the 80-year-old CUNA credit union “umbrella man” character (bottom), I wanted to reference such a well-known character to balance the company’s new presence in the marketplace. The ad illustrates my burly, credit union mascot holding credit union employees on his shoulders, and in turn, they hold up the customers on their own. And the tagline? “We are the people who help the people help the people”: a reference back to how credit unions are the “people helping people,” and CU Service Network is the company who helps credit unions stay strong.
This ad’s tagline went on to be the informal tagline of the company.
The second ad, run two months after the first, shows my credit union character supporting a call to action – for the viewer to take a survey about the industry. It also references the previous ad.