Captivating a Captive Audience: How UMe Met Consumers Where They Are

A best practices case study of unique outdoor advertising engagement through relevant content for commuters

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Meeting people where they are, UMe Credit Union worked with Adrenaline to develop resonant and beautiful creative that would successfully leverage a unique outdoor advertising setting to engage with a captive audience, while they are otherwise disconnected and disengaged waiting for their tanks to fill. A campaign custom-made for service stations, the gas station topper ads focused on creating relevant content for commuters as they fuel-up at local 76 gas stations.

After their successful bus shelter campaign, the Burbank-based credit union wanted a campaign to follow up with an equally effective way to garner meaningful results from their outdoor advertising efforts. This new cost-effective addition required both a post-COVID pivot and targeted product promotion in two categories of offerings, along with one general brand awareness spot from UMe, highlighting their playful, inimitable tone-of-voice.

Here’s look at the CU’s unique use of channels:

Goals: With three ads in three different sizes, UMe’s promotion focused on engaging customers with relevant programming while they gas-up – highlighting credit card and auto offerings along with one general UMe brand spot. With bold declarative statements related to gas station environments and meant as an attention-grabber, the statements like “Hey, your car payment could be lower” and “Fill up on gas AND rewards” engaged consumers in an aligned, affordable way.

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The final spot as a direct brand appeal provided more general brand presence highlighting one of UMe’s distinctive strengths – personalized connection – urging consumers to “Bank where U matter to Me.” With beautiful creative, the vibrant colors and patterns connect together and play off of each other almost as different pieces in a fashion collection and provide a perfect pattern to really represent the UMe brand.

Audience: UMe is a credit union serving Burbank and the surrounding area, where generation after generation take pride in being a citizen of this tight-knit, unique community in Southern California. With 15,837 members and a commitment to their community since 1940, UMe is a local institution that prides itself on creating meaningful and lasting relationships with its members.

Serving a broad range of financial needs, UMe’s target audience is broad ranging – from students going to college to young millennials just starting out, families settling into their new homes to retirees ready to kick back and enjoy the fruits of their labor – all within the greater Burbank area. The credit union is consistently on the hunt to find new and unique ways to connect with consumers and community members, alike.

Despite being a small community, Burbank is heavily saturated with financial institutions. Further, many UMe members are also members at other local credit unions, so it can be challenging to stand out, stay relevant, and compete for their target audience’s share of wallet. While UMe may not have the big budgets of their rivals, what they do have is the creativity and personality to effectively compete. The outdoor campaign represented a creative, cost-effective solution to captivate a captive local audience.

Results: With a focus on bold white type over a family of blue toned patterns, the messaging would be a quick read for those who are stopping to fill up their tanks at the service station. With short time to make an impression on consumers, the creative team pushed forth a message that was the right balance of direct product appeal and brand personality to make pumping gas – dare we say – almost fun!

At the end of the day, these ads are such a successful vehicle to drive brand awareness and lift, UMe has determined that what was once a one-off, cost-effective outdoor campaign will grab an ongoing spot at local 76 stations with new creative updated quarterly. The gas-station toppers are part of an ongoing advertising and market campaign positioning UMe as a principal financial services provider in Burbank.

For financial institutions needing advice and expertise about nourishing and fortifying core customer relationships through customized advertising and marketing campaigns, contact us at

Adrenaline is an experience design agency that creates and implements end-to-end branded experiences through creative and environmental design. We enhance our clients’ customer experiences across digital and physical channels, from their branding and advertising to design and technology in their spaces. After transforming an organization’s brand, Adrenaline extends it across all touchpoints — from employees to the market to in-store environments. And, we focus on serving industries that sell human experiences including financial, healthcare, sports and entertainment.

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