Increasing awareness, instilling trust, recruiting members


Keen to promote sound money management amongst their employees, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had established a relationship with three regional credit unions, offering a Payroll Deduction scheme to encourage responsible saving and borrowing.

However, many savers lacked awareness of credit unions generally, and few understood how they differed from traditional banks or building societies. So the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL) needed a multi-channel launch campaign to clarify these questions succinctly, while also recruiting 600 new members across the three participating credit unions within six weeks.


When it comes to explaining the intricacies and structures of financial institutions, it’s tempting to over-clarify every detail in an effort to appear transparent. However, this can overwhelm audiences with information overload and lead to inaction. Instead, we focused on overcoming two key barriers – perceptions of effort vs. reward and convincing our audience to trust a new institution with their hard-earned money.

Utilising a bold, simple and warm creative style, the campaign championed the ease of saving via payroll deduction, while highlighting the regulatory bodies and compensation schemes that oversaw the credit union’s operations – adding sense of security in the scheme. A dedicated microsite and animation provided further detail, addressing the wider questions savers may have about how credit unions work and the support that they could provide.


The original target of 600 registrations was achieved within one week. By the end of the six-week campaign, the three credit unions had exceeded their sign-up target by 211%. The success of the campaign resulted in a number of other ABCUL credit unions adopting the toolkit to launch their own schemes, with similarly impressive results.