Coast Capital refreshes its brand to focus on real advice

The credit union sets itself up for growth by looking at more grounded financial goals Canadians are concerned about.
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Credit union Coast Capital

The “We’re Real” campaign begins by acknowledging that while many Canadians have exicitng goals, many of us are currently dreaming of things “that shouldn’t be dreams at all”: things like owning a home, being able to afford an unexpected car repair or having a little bit left over at the end of the month to save. The credit union then chimes in, letting people know that it is focused on the real goals people have, and will offer realistic advice to help them get there.

The campaign was led by Cossette and Cossette Media, which won the creative and media AOR assignments for Coast Capital last fall.

Andrew Rusk, VP of marketing at Coast Capital, says that a big insight that shaped the development of the platform is that financial advertising – especially from the Big Five banks – commonly focuses on big financial “dreams,” like a dream home or a lavish vacation or expensive car.

“But if you live in a major city, everyday Canadians are simply looking for a comfortable home they can call their own,” he says. “The real difference that comes with being a member-owned co-operative is that we give real advice for real members that meets them where their goals are right now, instead of talking about a ‘dream’ that isn’t real for them right now. That’s where more successful partnerships are.”

The campaign includes TV spots, radio, OOH, social and display ads, all running regionally in its home province of British Columbia.

But Rusk says Coast Capital has set a growth trajectory over the next couple of years after becoming only the second credit union to be registered at the national level in Canada in 2018. While its branch network is currently centralized in British Columbia, it now offers everyday banking, auto loan and mortgage products nationally (excluding Quebec).

So while the focus for this campaign is the membership in B.C., Rusk says this is also an effort to evolve the Coast Capital brand beyond the simple, product-and-rate focused ads it was doing before and tell more Canadians about the differences of being member-owned.

“It’s speaking to everyday Canadians with a message that will resonate for everyone and let them know they have more options than just the Big Five,” Rusk says.

Being an alternative to the major banks is something many credit unions speak to in their marketing, but with the largest membership in Canada and 80 years of history behind it, Rusk says it is able to differentiate itself by its scale.

“You don’t need to make a trade-off in scale and sophistication of your financial partner by banking with us,” he says. “One of the pieces that was important to us on this campaign is talking about what matters for Canadians, which is the nuts and bolts, the goals for their families and what’s left over at the end of the month.”