NOTE: For purposes of this virtual funeral, Marketing will be defined as anything that is one way. Meaning, the member can’t be heard in the process.  It is intended for them to pay attention – or go away and read this. Examples: television ads, radio ads, newspaper ads, direct mail and brochures.

I’ve been speaking a lot lately – about marketing – or the slow death of it – and I get mixed reactions. Some deer-in-the-headlights, some nodding in agreement, some defiant in disagreement. All valid.

If your credit union’s goal is to attract and retain younger members, these traditional marketing efforts will not work.

But let’s celebrate what was a great run. Pay our respects, share our stories and memories and celebrate the life that is ahead. All of these marketing mediums made us better people. We should be thankful for their place in history. They will be missed.

R.I.P. the Television Ad.

Show of hands: how many of you remember when television went off the air? I do.

It’s one of the main reasons I got a real job in high school rather than the not-so-lucrative-baby-sitting-gigs my mom was able to pimp out. We lived in a very Catholic neighborhood. Giant families. She would “offer” me up on a Friday night at like a dollar an hour to watch 6 brats scream their way through my evening. The best part about baby sitting – was when you weren’t. When those rug rats were all safely tucked into bed and you had the television all to yourself. And hopefully some Hostess product.

Then it happened, the clock outran the viewing time. You were left with nothing to watch but this:


And you did.

Counting the minutes until the parents would finally arrive, give you 5 dollars and drunk drive you home. Good times.

Television was captivating in the 70’s. There was no internet. No video games. No Wii. If you weren’t watching television I suppose you could listen to the radio, read a book or go explore nature. But why? When you could plop down in front of the boob tube!

There were only 4 stations back then and you had to get up to change the channel. If the reception was poor, you had aluminum foil and your fist to remedy that. Very high tech. Because there was so little to choose from, you could clip the TV Click out of the Sunday paper and post it on the fridge to see the entire week’s offerings and plan accordingly. If you missed a show, you missed it. No taping. No Your only connection would be to hear, from co-workers, that JR Ewing was shot! Dang!

Commercials were put in place so we could run to the bathroom to pee or grab a soda. Most of your members today probably still watch TV the new-fashioned way. By endlessly clicking through their 180 channels, wading through commercials looking for something interesting to watch. There’s definitely hope that they might see our ad.

And we can tell the board that we are “out there” on television.

NEXT: The wake. What will television look like without ads?