Five students' ad concept to appear on Genisys Credit Union's billboards

by Sheila Yancy

A team of five students will have their concept Bank Your Way featured on 14 billboards in southeast Michigan during the months of March and April for Genisys Credit Union’s 2011 marketing and advertising campaign.

The team includes Heather LaRocca, a master’s candidate in WSU’s public relations and organizational communication program; Adrian Shayota and Mark Sherwood Stewart, undergraduate marketing majors; and MBA students Elena Camp and Catherine Kohn.

Genisys is the fifth-largest credit union in Michigan and among the top 100 in the country, providing products and services to more than 125,000 members nationwide.

“We felt that the image that was selected along with the ad copy was an excellent fit for our desire to appeal to a younger group of consumers between the ages of 18-25,” said Darren Cameron, vice president of marketing, Genisys.

“It demonstrates that you really can access your Genisys accounts in many different ways and the idea of positioning Genisys in a way that may appeal to those that currently do not use a credit union. The copy line Bank Your Way successfully accomplishes that,” he said.

Genisys was first a project client for an MBA marketing research class that is taught by Richard Beltramini, professor of marketing in the School of Business Administration. The credit union later followed up with a new MBA projects course, where this team of students developed full integrated marketing communications strategies for area businesses.

Specifically, the student team studied the credit union and then made recommendations for a 2011 marketing and advertising plan. They also developed marketing and advertising tactics that would successfully position the credit union in a favorable light for Generation Y consumers aged 18-25.

“The student team did a fantastic job learning about our business and the types of members we are looking to attract in a very short period of time,” said Cameron. “The analysis and recommendations that the team provided were very detailed and well thought out.”

Beltramini said he is delighted that Wayne State provided the opportunity to launch a practical course in applied learning and looks forward to giving his students a chance to participate in future successful projects.

“Naturally I'm proud of my students,” he said. “It was their hard work that provided their project client actionable information while providing themselves tangible evidence of learning to use in their career seeking.” He said this is not the first time his students' work has been utilized by advertisers. “This is an example of what students can do when challenged,” he said.

In addition, Cameron said the sample developed by the student team featured attention-getting concepts and strong ad copy. He said the team’s presentation and written plan convinced the credit union to implement one of their recommendations almost exactly as developed.

“I was very excited and proud to hear that Genisys took our suggestions to heart and would be using them to design new billboards,” said LaRocca. She said anytime you pitch ideas to a client, there is no guarantee that they will accept those ideas. “I'm so glad to know that our hard work was appreciated and will hopefully help Genisys reach its goal of increasing awareness among young adults,” she said.

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