Danny Swanson
Danny Swanson

The man with a multimedia plan

His videos render complex financial topics 'in a simpler and more attractive fashion.'

November 24, 2016

While pursuing his passion for video production at Virginia Commonwealth University nearly a decade ago, Danny Swanson took a part-time job at Virginia Credit Union, working Fridays and Saturdays as a teller.

It didn’t take long for Swanson’s co-workers to recognize his talents extend well beyond that role.

Today, Swanson has his hands in nearly every facet of marketing for the $3.1 billion asset credit union in Richmond, Va., from social media strategy to membership development to internal communication.

But video remains the multimedia marketing specialist’s specialty.

For the past four years he has commanded Virginia Credit Union’s robust use of the medium in a job created especially for him.

Through the more than 40 videos he creates annually, Swanson aims to render complex financial topics “in a simpler and more attractive fashion.”

One of his most successful series features a young man dressed in flannel offering financial pointers as he sips a fancy coffee or other home-grown, nonalcoholic beverage.

He promotes the series via social media at #guyinflannel.

Swanson records the series at local restaurants—exposure that benefits both Virginia Credit Union and the businesses.

And he often recruits co-workers and local residents as cast members. “Many of our members are businesspeople, so it makes sense to connect with them,” he says.

But Swanson doesn’t just chronicle Virginia Credit Union’s successes—he also lays the foundation for them.

Deeply impressed by a trip to Portland, Ore.—the inspiration for one of his favorite TV series, “Portlandia”—Swanson pioneered bicycle loans, a first in Virginia.

“The bicycle culture there was fantastic, and the local credit union industry supported it,” he says. “I figured, why not do the same in Richmond, which was about to host the world bicycling championships?”

Bike shop owners were receptive to offering loans through a local credit union, Swanson says, and credit union members could finance the purchase of a bicycle for less than it might cost with a credit card.

For more from Swanson, listen to an interview with him on the CUNA News Podcast.