CSCU Honors O Bee and Columbia With CAMEO Awards for Marketing Prowess

O Bee Credit Union’s “Famous Pink Debit Card.”

All over Olympia, in coffee shops and grocery stores, cafés and boutiques, dry cleaners and drugstores, people are asking, “Where did you get that card?”

Debit cards — the actual plastic rounded rectangles — don’t usually elicit much response these days, but O Bee Credit Union Vice President of Marketing Lee Wojnar and his team are changing that, and his credit union was honored with a CSCU CAMEO Award for the effort.

“We are positioning the card as a fashion accessory,” said Wojnar of his credit union’s winning entry, “it becomes part of the member’s persona.” The card he’s talking about is O Bee’s “Famous Pink Card,” which launched in May of 2014.

“The idea came from two O Bee branch managers — Ashley Drennon and Ashley Allison,” said Wojnar. “Our connection with the beer industry has lent itself to a more masculine image. They suggested creating a pink card to appeal to a wider membership.”

Wojnar and his team tested the waters on social media and people loved it. As soon as the card launched it took off, becoming the credit union’s fastest growing card and paying for itself in less than six months.

Members have been reporting back that they are often complimented on the card, and that people ask where they got. The front of the card does not mention O Bee. Instead, it’s emblazoned with “Olympia,” with the word “Famous” in script above it.

“This is something I’ve been doing with our cards recently,” said Wojnar. “It’s not about me or the credit union. It’s about you and your community.”

In their efforts around the Famous Pink Card, Wojnar and his team have also incorporated important causes like women’s health and breast cancer awareness. For one campaign, they donated to Every Woman Counts, a program to provide free screening for breast cancer.

“Winning the CAMEO Awards makes us proud of what we’re doing, showing how credit unions can stand apart in the marketplace,” said Wojnar. “Even though the card is just a piece of plastic, you can make it more than that.”

Columbia Credit Union also won a CAMEO Award for its Visa pre-approval campaign.

“Our credit card program is only in its fourth year,” said Columbia Vice President of Card Services Nancy Olmsted, “so it’s very exciting to win our second annual CAMEO Award.”

The campaign offered members 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months and a reduced balance transfer fee of 1.99%. Columbia also offered 10,000 bonus points on new rewards cards when members spent $3,000 or more during the first three months of receiving their new card.

The results speak for themselves. Columbia opened 571 new accounts during the campaign, and experienced more than $1.4 million in portfolio growth.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org.

Posted in Awards, Marketing & Communications.