Free Fill-Ups Promote CUs Nationally

Campaign creates a buzz and opportunities to interact with consumers.

November 1, 2013
Janet Porriello, Seasons FCU, Middletown, Conn., holds up a mask of CEO Keith Wiemert during a free gas giveaway for members. (Wiemert couldn’t attend the event.

Which is more aggravating, megabank fees or the high cost of gasoline?

For Robyn Swanson, the answer to that riddle is “both.”

The senior vice president at $136 million asset Seasons Federal Credit Union of Middletown, Conn., and 15 members of her staff wearing “Take Back Your Banking” T-shirts underscored that point for consumers during a pre-Labor Day weekend gas giveaway promotion coordinated by Kasasa.

Kasasa, a national brand of free checking and rewards savings accounts, enlisted 32 of its 176 affiliated credit unions and community banks in the effort. Two hundred drivers at each location received $20 in free gas—providing a feel-good public relations moment but also a captive audience and a platform to explain the credit union difference.

“The event and product itself are well in line with the credit union value system—it’s a way to give back to the community and our members,” says Swanson, whose credit union was the first to sign with Kasasa, in 2008. “And talking to 200 prospects also is nice.”

Kasasa estimates the total publicity value—a metric that multiplies the total earned media value threefold, due to third-party endorsement impact—at $3.8 million.

The event generated coverage from four local print, TV, or radio outlets in each market, on average.