Big 4Q Impact Experienced in CA’s ‘Open Your Eyes’ Campaign

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Woman with Open Your Eyes campaign branding

The credit union movement’s “Open Your Eyes” Awareness Initiative took a deep dive into its digital advertising performance among California consumers for the fourth quarter of 2019 during a recent conference call on Feb. 21.

The campaign — which directs consumers to — is spearheaded by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) with assistance from the California Credit Union League and a steering committee of local credit union senior marketing executives across the state.

In the Los Angeles/Orange County region of California from October to December 2019, the following data was captured on social media sites Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. “Unsettled Beginners” refers to 25 – 34-year-old consumers, and “Future Thinkers” denotes the 35 – 54-year-old age group.

  • A combined total of 5.6 million individuals’ “eyes were opened.” This total number included more than 31.8 million consumer/viewer advertising impressions (views); nearly 13.1 million video completions; and almost 130,000 clicks. The VFR (view-through rate) for Facebook and Instagram was 82 percent versus 67 percent for YouTube.
  • The fully-completed rate for videos on Facebook and Instagram of 82 percent (both full-length and six-second videos) beat the campaign’s national average so far. The CTR (click-through rate) came in just below the national average at 0.25 percent. However, both metrics have far exceeded the campaign’s benchmarks.
  • The fully-completed rate for videos on YouTube of 67 percent (both full-length and six-second videos) improved as a result of more segmented and creative testing between advertising groups. There was an emphasis placed on comparing videos against other videos of similar length (as well as campaign frequency to combat potential “ad fatigue”). The CTR (click-through rate) stayed relatively consistent at 0.24 percent, with efforts to keep “ad fatigue” low and testing of new headlines and calls-to-action.
  • The 15-second video advertisement “Working Hard Office” stood out as a top performer. Also, “Chelsea” delivered the highest CTR (click-through rate) for Unsettled Beginners (no advertisements ran for Future Thinkers). Top performers by view rates were “Faces Better Rate,” “Trapped Mouse” and “Think Your Money.”
  • Overall, California has had the largest budget placement in videos than all other states. This has equated to the largest social-media advertising impressions and “view” totals compared to all other states. Across all types of advertisements (social media non-videos versus videos), the average VFR (view-through rate) was 67 percent; and the average CTR (click-through rate) was 0.34 percent.
  • Paid media traffic in California has garnered the following consumer advertising numbers: 85,900 web “sessions” (extended website visits to; 2.07 pageviews per session; an average of 33 seconds per session; a 93.7 new-visitor rate; and a 7.6 percent bounce rate (only 7.6 percent of visitors scrolled around the web page without truly viewing or immediately did not stick to the web page). Top-landing pages for paid media consumer/visitors in chronological order were: “For People With Plans,” “Get Better Rates,” “You Can Join,” “Online and One the Go,” and “Friendly Service.”
  • The awareness campaign is focused on getting consumers’ attention immediately. It’s important to grab someone’s attention right away since they are much more likely to visit the campaign’s website the first time he or she sees an advertisement versus the second or third time.

Breaking Down Barriers and Perceptions
The highly targeted campaign is looking to bring unaided, top-of-mind awareness. Its goal is to positively engage consumers within specific age ranges when they are active in social media on the internet.

Recent research shows that in California, only 16 percent of consumers who are looking for a checking account would naturally consider a credit union in their set of options. For a loan, it’s nearly just as low — 17 percent.

“If we can get these numbers up to 20, 25 or 30 percent over time, then the money that an individual credit union spends on its marketing efforts is going to hit a much broader audience, and deposit and loan accounts will rise,” said Larry Palochik, senior vice president of member solutions for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. “That’s what this campaign is all about — breaking down the perceived barriers that consumers have and showing them that they can choose a credit union.”

He added that while the campaign does not track membership-conversion growth rates on an aggregate basis, the California League’s steering committee will continue encouraging individual credit unions that are involved in the initiative to track those metrics. They will also urge other credit unions to get involved.

In California, 42 credit unions have already contributed nearly $2.9 million for the first year of the campaign (2019); and 40 credit unions are on board with $2.7 million for 2020 so far. All funds are strategically allocated into digital advertising channels within these contributors’ local footprint. (Nationally, more than 750 credit unions and industry affiliates/organizations had pledged nearly $46.5 million for 2019.)

Resources for CU Marketers
The more credit unions start using the awareness campaign’s co-branded marketing/advertising creative pieces, the easier it will be for consumers to recognize the trusted, unified “Open Your Eyes” trademark. Visit CUNA’s Contributor HQ for all materials.

Credit union marketers can also get involved by becoming part of the Your Money Further (YM-F) group on Facebook, or the @moneyfurther community on Twitter. 

Learn More About ‘Open Your Eyes’
You can visit CUNA’s Awareness Initiative webpage to learn about the research behind the campaign, track national results, and read contributor testimonials. 2020 will be a pivotal year in the industry’s efforts to raise the awareness of more local California consumers about how credit unions are different.

So far, credit unions in 21 states are participating in the campaign, with the goal of reducing the perception that consumers cannot join, putting credit unions at the forefront of their consideration, and creating opportunities to grow membership.

Ten more states are approaching campaign-launch “readiness” phase sometime in the first half of 2020. The goal is to have credit unions and local campaigns in 35 states engaged and launched by year-end 2020.

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