connectFirst won’t play the numbers game

Who: Alberta-based credit union connectFirst, with Daughter Creative for strategy and creative, Joe Media for production, Six Degrees for sound, Kick Media for traditional media, Jackie Reiss for digital and online media.

What: “Reduced to a Number,” Daughter’s first brand campaign for connectFirst since winning the business in 2021.

When & Where: The Alberta-only campaign debuted on Sept. 12, beginning with TV. Other campaign elements including cinema, out-of-home, print and radio will follow, running through the next two months.

Why: The connectFirst brand debuted in May 2021, arising from the merger of four separate operating divisions: First Calgary Financial, Chinook Financial, Mountain View Financial and Legacy Financial.

But despite being one of Canada’s largest and most successful credit unions, with more than 128,000 members more than 40 communities and approximately $6 billion in assets under administration, the new brand still has relatively low awareness.

At the same time, connectFirst is also targeting the next generation of financial clients who have come of age in the fintech era. Even if these consumers do know what a credit union is, they are likely to perceive them as lacking in technological savvy.

The goal is to dispel lingering misconceptions around credit unions, while also positioning connectFirst as the next generation’s financial institution of choice.

How: The creative approach is based on convincing potential connectFirst customers that they are more than just a number to the credit union.

“Having an amazing banking app is great, but if you can never talk to a real person about your financial future and develop a personalized plan, then it defeats its purpose,” said Daughter’s senior copywriter, Jordan Finlayson. “Many of the big banks have taken this route, leaving many people to feel like they’ve been reduced to a number.”

A TV spot features people who have been reduced to a number, whether it’s a teller at a traditional bank condescendingly instructing a customer to enter their PIN, waiting on the phone for customer service, or being asked to punch a time clock at work.

“Do you ever fell like just a number? A denominator. A decimal? Another digit in the big bank machine?” asks the voiceover. “In a world full of numbers…” The perspective then shifts to a firstConnect teller helping a customer, who completes the thought: “…It’s nice to know you’re not one.”

And we quote: Banks see numbers. We see Albertans. This was the jumping-off point for the creative strategy. We wanted to demonstrate to Albertans that connectFirst is different from other financial institutions. At connectFirst, they balance tech with a personable approach.” — Jordan Finlayson, senior copywriter, Daughter

Chris Powell