An Ad Campaign for Millennials

Credit Union on Purpose is a fictional credit union created by marketer Derek Gillette to explore what a credit union focused on serving Millennials might look like. In this article, Gillette imagines an ad campaign to speak to Millennials centered around the credit union’s core value of Intentionality. Gillette will be presenting at our one-day 2015 Marketers’ Conference. Get details and register here.

One of the biggest struggles any credit union faces is that most people choose where they bank for one of the following reasons:

  1. Location
  2. Wherever they opened their first account as a teenager
  3. Used by a family member, spouse, or very close friend

Image courtesy of FBWALLPICS.

At Credit Union on Purpose, our first core value is Intentionality. We believe that people want to be intentional with their money. But that’s not the conversation society is currently having about where to bank.

In situations like this we’re reminded of a quote from the AMC show Mad Men: “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”

If we want people to be more intentional about where they choose to put their money, we need to begin a conversation about intentionality.

Ready to Be Intentional Campaign

This campaign is designed to remind people of the joys of intentionality. There are certain things in life we are intentional about: going out in the backyard and kicking a ball with our son, sharing dinner with friends, getting outside on the weekend, spending time in a beautiful place with your loved ones.

The point is that we seek out these important moments. We look forward to them.  We think back on them fondly. This is what being intentional feels like. We want those same feelings to be associated with us as a credit union.

The campaign is cross-media, with elements of video, print, web, and social. The message of the campaign is that it’s time be intentional with your money. However, we can’t just tell people to care more or be more intentional, we have to let them draw the conclusion for themselves.

In order to create the space for them to make these connections, we invite them into simple moments of beautiful intentionality, moments that many people can relate to.

Web/Landing Page

Credit Union on Purpose Landing Page

Click here to visit the landing page.

For example, we created this landing page for the campaign. If features a looping video of a husband, wife, and their son, sitting by the ocean together as the sun sets. It’s a beautiful, intentional moment shared among a family. Click here to check it out.

As the campaign expands, we would add other 30-second videos just like this one. A single scene, repeating.  Not telling a story, but inviting the viewer into an intentional moment. Here’s another example of a video that I think would work.

As you can see on the landing page, the only copy for the campaign is this, “You’re intentional with everything else in your life. Ready to be intentional with your money too?”

It’s not a conversation about rates, products, or social impact at this point.  It’s merely a recognition that maybe we should be as conscious with our money choices as we are with the other choices in our lives.

Print, display, and social media ads would feature still shots of the same or similar intentional scenes, with the same simple text and links to the website.

By adding a hashtag like #lifeonpurpose and the credit union’s Twitter handle, and by actively engaging with shares and comments, we can encourage a social media dialogue about what it means to be intentional with our money.

Let’s start a conversation about the intentional moments in our lives.  What do those look like for you?  Do you have a picture or short video to share? Do you wish you had more time for intentional moments?  Social advertising could help to kickstart the conversation and a good social media team would sustain, advance, and evolve the conversation.


The reason we like this simplified approach is because it’s different than traditional bank or credit union advertising.  It doesn’t get into rates or product lines.  It doesn’t even brag about community impact.  It changes the conversation completely. It gets people thinking about the beauty of intentionality, and that maybe they should think that way about their money rather than choosing a financial institution based on location or habit.

Most importantly, it invites people to think about what it means to be intentional with their money, which is exactly what we exists to help our members do.

Derek Gillette is a millennial helping brands better understand how to craft purpose into their marketing and communication strategy.  Reach out to him on Twitter or through his LinkedIn profile. 

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790,

Posted in Marketing & Communications.