Workers Credit Union is aiming to cut through the tangled noise of advertising saturation by encouraging consumers and members to “Bank like a Big Wig.”

The Fitchburg, Mass.-based CU is running advertisements throughout central Massachusetts and greater Boston with characters in Victorian-era wigs — a millennia-old symbol of status and special treatment.

“We really needed to break away from traditional advertising that you usually see,” said Alysa Duval, Workers CU’s vice president of marketing. “Away from stock photography and heavy copy that’s often presented in advertising. We wanted something more emotional and humorous to make people feel like we can be approached.”

The credit union is running 15-second TV spots featuring stories about some of the “big wig” members Workers serves. In its radio ads, a jovial everyman sings about how he’s a big wig to the tune of “Oh, My Darling,” in Baroque harpsichord style. Print ads place wigged talent within oversized, gilded picture frames, while window clings and bus wraps take the concept to the street.

The credit union worked with the ad agency, Adrenaline, Inc., to translate Workers CU’s value proposition to the public. Workers reps said they chose Adrenaline because the marketing agency understands the credit union movement’s value proposition.

“Adrenaline really gets what’s happening in the industry—the disruption and the challenges facing financial institutions today,” Duval said.

Highlighting the CU difference
Because the greater Boston marketplace is already largely familiar with Workers CU, Ty Wong, Adrenaline’s creative director, and his creative teams looked for a way to create a new campaign that highlighted again how Workers CU’s service differs from big banks. The team flew up from Atlanta to present the concepts at the CU’s headquarters.

“The angle is that all workers are welcomed here,” Wong said. “Millennial or college-age to 65-year-old, no matter your financial state.”

The ad campaign comes at a time in the political landscape when talk of economic inequality is on the rise and many blue collar workers feel left behind economically. It also stands in contrast to the actions of larger financial institutions, like Wells Fargo and its fake accounts scandal.

The campaign also resonated with what Workers CU employees were hearing from their consumers: “We’ve heard members say ‘You’ve made me feel like a big wig,’” Duval said.

Throughout the campaign, Workers will measure its results by tracking visits to its website and asking new members how they found out about the credit union.

During the upcoming holiday season, Workers will increase advertising in movie theaters as schoolkids and families go to the movies during break or on snow days. The institution will cut back on adverting in general, however, to save advertising dollars for a later, more effective time.

The campaign has been running for about a month and is expected to run until at least spring, if not summer.

“I’d like to see it live as long as possible,” Duval said. “What is the next phase of big wig? There’s got to be an extension.”