TREVOSE, Penn.-No hassles, no gimmicks, no unfairness and no ridiculous executive pay.

That's the message Trumark Financial CU is delivering in a new broad-spectrum campaign based on months of research with focus groups, telephone surveys and Internet panel discussions.

"The tone of the ads reflect the tone of the consumer whom we spoke to," said VP of marketing Ed Kroznuski. "We realized when we were reviewing the research results that there were some issues that didn't tell a happy story. We saw from a creative standpoint an opportunity to hone in on those specific issues."

The $1.2-billion Trumark Financial has created three new TV and radio ads, as well as billboards and banners on SEPTA buses, which take direct shots at the opulent lives of bank executives who it states re-making fortunes from high fees and rates. Krozunski noted that higher fees and reductions in credit lines were the first and third biggest issues consumers had with banks according to Trumark's research, with executive compensation the second-most cited concern. About 40% of respondents said they were "very concerned" with big bank executives' paychecks, a figure that "raised some eyebrows."

"In many ways we did not write this commercial or put together the points of our billboards. The consumer wrote this. Once we had the research in front of us, it was basically just picking out what the consumer said was important to him," said Krozunski.

Though Trumark was founded more than 70 years ago, Krozunski conceded that the general public in southeastern Pennsylvania has little knowledge of the credit union. This image campaign is the first step in defining the institution amongst the public. Notably, Trumark's ads make no mention that it is a credit union-a deliberate strategy. Krozunski noted that focus group and survey respondents saw words like "member" and "join" as barriers and most assumed that they could not join the community charter CU. Trumark contemplated explaining the eligibility issue in some of its ads, but eventually dropped the idea.

"You have 30 seconds in an image campaign to try to accomplish a whole lot of stuff," Krozunski explained.

Instead, the credit union has heavily promoted its new marketing website, www.trumark.com, which prominently displays its cooperative nature. The site even has special sections pointing out the abuses of big banks and why credit unions are the better alternative. The campaign's television spots will run for a total of nine weeks while the billboards will remain in place for the next six months.

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