26 02, 2018

How We Make Cash and Apples Fall From the Sky

02/26/2018|Our Work - Financial|

Credit Union of America offers its members an interesting option for savings accounts called a “Save to Win” certificate of deposit that also gives holders a chance to win cash prize drawings throughout the year. CUA is also rooted in serving educators, so they wanted to send a special offer to their members in the teaching community. We wanted to create a fun graphic for the email we’d send that reinforced how good the odds are at winning a cash prize with the Save to Win certificate that also resonated with educators. The uptick in response rate we’ve seen with ads containing animated gifs made this the perfect opportunity to use one to reinforce the product’s selling points. After some brainstorming, sketching, and a handful of wild ideas, we decided to create an animated gif that we thought teachers would really get a kick out of. Animated gifs are some of our favorite graphic design applications not just because of how fun they are to conceptualize and create, but also because of how much engagement they can generate from digital ads.

22 12, 2017

An Illustration Fit For Credit Union Kids

12/22/2017|Our Work - Financial|

Family Focus Federal Credit Union came to the PLAY Creative team in need of a name and face for a kids’ money program they planned to launch for members. Since the program would revolve around teaching kids good habits with their money, Family Focus wanted both a name for the program and a pair of characters to represent it with a design style that would appeal to a young audience. With the audience in mind, the PLAY team suggested hand-painted style illustrations for the program art. After some brainstorming, we decided to aim for a children’s book illustration look and feel. When Family Focus decided that the characters would be named “Bella the Butterfly” and “Cody the Caterpillar,” our team got to work planning and sketching initial ideas the characters. We also began brainstorming a name for the program that would fit both the Family Focus brand and the design aesthetic we wanted to achieve.    Extensive research by the creative team went into the first iteration of sketches, including analysis of character art on children's shows, movies and books. Then, after a first round of ideas and sketches, we thoroughly reviewed the early work with our initial design goals [...]

4 12, 2017

Where Brand Building Meets Customer Appreciation

12/04/2017|Our Work - Financial|

Credit Union of America understands the importance of a strong brand. They know that their brand’s impact goes beyond products and marketing materials. In the fall, they came to the PLAY Creative team looking for ideas for a greeting card they could send to members to thank them for their membership on their respective anniversaries with Credit Union of America. Like any organization with a strong brand identity in place and a keen sense of the importance of brand consistency, they wanted a card that was simply a gesture of good will rather than a promotion. The PLAY team wanted to create a card that let CUA express its gratitude to their members and fit their brand, but didn’t quite look like the other promotional materials they produce. The teams decided on a theme that both celebrated the relationship between Credit Union of America and its members and also aimed to get them excited about the future. The PLAY team created a greeting card that thanked Credit Union of America’s members for their relationship within the company’s well-refined brand. It’s important to focus on your brand holistically, not just in ways that directly affect your bottom line. PLAY Creative doesn’t [...]

30 11, 2017

Family Focus FCU AIMs For a Stronger Brand

11/30/2017|Our Work - Financial|

Family Focus Federal Credit Union approached PLAY Creative in need of a brand overhaul. The credit union wanted a brand that reflects its mission of leading members away from debt and empowering them to reach financial prosperity, no matter their starting point. The Family Focus AIM Program, brand and logo were born from this concept. The AIM brand concept was rooted in the fact that ‘taking aim’ only requires two things: a starting point and a goal. The PLAY team wanted to kick off the new brand by engaging Family Focus members in the process of taking AIM at financial freedom. Each member’s goal is unique, but “aiming” shares a common meaning of claiming power in one’s situation, envisioning their future, and starting to work toward it. A survey was crafted to place members in one of three financial phases rather than groups. Having ‘phases’ meant members would have a more clearly defined destination to work toward with their money. As with all branding projects, the PLAY team constantly looked for ways for the brand to reflect Family Focus and its goals. The AIM concept was the result of research and brainstorming for an overall look and feel that communicated [...]

20 11, 2017

PLAY Recognized for Low-Budget Dynamic Print Project

11/20/2017|Our Work - Financial|

When a marketing agency says it specializes in building unique handcrafted print campaigns, they better back it up. We at PLAY Creative happen to make that claim, and our friends at Foldfactory recently helped us back it up. Foldfactory is one of the world’s leading resources when it comes to creative folded print materials and campaigns, and features some of the best dynamic print projects out there. At PLAY Creative, we’re proud to have recently been featured by this print design juggernaut. We're honored to have a project we produced for Credit Union of American featured in Foldfactory’s 60-second Super-Cool Fold of the Week video series, and you can check out our featured project here. When dealing with dynamic print campaigns, it’s not enough to simply produce an idea. Even engineering a solution with dimension that’s eye-catching, creative and engaging is only a small part of a successful print project. There's also cost to consider, and of course, results. (Foldfactory also deemed this project a “low-budget wonder” and “fabulously frugal.”) We also owe our friends at Regal Printing a tip of the cap for helping keep the project on time and on budget. Whether it’s for a credit union, university, [...]

8 11, 2017

Columbus United Federal Credit Union Gets Personal With Auto Loans

11/08/2017|Our Work - Financial|

(Shown above: Postcard sent to customers within 18 months of paying off their current auto loan.) With summer winding down, Columbus United Federal Credit Union came to PLAY Creative for a new solution to bring awareness to their direct auto loans. Promoting auto loans is nothing new for the PLAY team, but Columbus United FCU wanted to reach a specific group of potential auto loan customers already working with them. Past research and projects revealed 36 months to be the average lifespan of an auto loan, and Columbus United Federal Credit Union wanted to reach out to borrowers who were within 18 months of paying off their current auto loan. This proved to be an optimal time to get customers thinking about getting into a new car with a loan from Columbus United FCU, rather than through a dealership. The PLAY Creative team wanted to highlight some key themes in the auto loan process from Columbus United Federal Credit Union that would compel customers to think about buying a new car after finishing out their current auto loan. (Shown above: Campaign Billboard) The goal became highlighting the highly personalized service of Columbus United FCU in a creative way and developing [...]

25 01, 2017

Putting Your Marketing Plan In Action

01/25/2017|Our Process, Our Work - Financial|

If you’re like me, there are days it’s hard enough to give much thought to what’s happening in an hour much less six months from now. But as a marketing professional, looking ahead is imperative to your company’s success. With your time in mind, here are a few key points to ponder as you jump into the next cycle of your marketing plan. Execution Question: As you wrote your 12-month plan, did you consider who’s actually going to execute these brilliant ideas? While creating the actual 12-month plan could be considered a remarkable feat in and of itself, the real power comes in the execution of its contents. You may have a team to support your plan, but take a moment to step back and think about how you can enhance the outcome of your plan by putting the right partners in place. PLAY is founded on the idea of working as an extension of our client’s team. We can help implement select campaigns, free your team to work on other tasks like design or content development, and provide insight that can elevate the impact of your marketing efforts. Focus on core strengths Question: Is your marketing team functioning at [...]

3 11, 2016

Strategy and Design to Help Credit Union Members Freshen Up Their Rides

11/03/2016|Our Work - Campaigns, Our Work - Dynamic Print, Our Work - Financial|

Earlier this year, Mainstreet Credit Union approached PLAY Creative to relieve some of the pressure its marketing team was feeling. Its marketing director recognized that the team had an abundance of work, with very little breathing room. But there was more work to be done — so PLAY was brought into the fold as an extension of the Mainstreet Credit Union team. Mainstreet Credit Union recognized a need to reach out to those customers nearing the end of an existing auto loan. This was the ideal time to begin communicating with these customers about opportunities for low-rate loans for a newer vehicle. The key to success for this campaign was reaching this audience at specific timeframes, before their loan was completed. Research says that 36 months is a typical lifespan of an auto loan, meaning that most people have their vehicle paid off within a 36-month timeframe. This knowledge helped PLAY develop a strategy that included a series of mailers, being sent automatically at 24, 30 and 36 months. The campaign included a series of three mailings: 24 months focus - postcard; 30 months focus - pop-up mailer (Shown below); 36 months focus - a second dynamic mailer. The campaign featured [...]

9 09, 2016

Does Your Credit Union Have A “Design Arm?”

09/09/2016|Our Work - Financial|

Chances are, your internal team could use some help when it comes to developing tangible marketing pieces for your branch locations. When you team with PLAY, we can become the “design arm” of your internal team. Our artists are well versed in creating pieces that capture the attention of your audience while upholding your brand standards. The options are virtually endless, ranging from print ads to dynamic mail pieces, lobby displays to desk toppers. From initial idea to final execution, we can help support your marketing plan with intriguing tangible marketing elements.

2 09, 2016

Got a Budget? We Can Work With That.

09/02/2016|Our Work - Financial|

We believe any good partnership starts by being transparent. Our core products, those tactics that are used most often, have flat fee-based pricing. However, we often work with custom budgets and are more than happy to talk through your needs and budget to gain a full understanding on how to best partner with your business. So why fee-based pricing on some pieces? There are certain pieces that most credit unions implement, which means we have extensive experience in working with these pieces and can complete these projects in an efficient timeframe without sacrificing quality. Essentially, we’d like the opportunity to sit and chat with you about the core needs of your credit union and your key initiatives moving into your next fiscal year. Through open conversation about your business, we can provide better recommendations and more effective solutions — on budget.

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