A beautiful TV Ad Campaign For 1st Advantage FCU

1st Advantage is a Newport News, Virginia-based credit union who needed to communicate how easy and affordable their mortgage services are for members. They loved our previous work for another credit union commercial campaign for Interra Credit Union, and wanted to capture that same, easygoing national TV Ad feel for their spots.  We ultimately conceptualized, produced, and edited two 4K HD video productions for this credit union tv ad campaign:  "Her Way"  and "Perfect Fit."  

To create this Credit Union Television Commercial Campaign, we needed to start with where we always begin in our financial advertising ads:  Credit Unions are not Banks.  Yes, they provide all the same services as banks: Mortgages, Business Lending, Auto Loans, Checking and Savings Accounts, ATM & Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Investment Services, you name it a credit union can provide the financial service.  They even call the transactions "banking."  But where Credit Unions are very different from Banks is in their ownership structure. Banks are typically owned by a small group of shareholders who are looking to profit from the services the bank provides.  Credit Unions are 100% owned by all the Members who collectively makeup the financial institution.  This ideology filters down to every decision a Credit Union makes, including the idea to keep lower interest rates, pay higher yields, and not charge for the everyday banking & checking transactions that a bank would.

“Credit union members are happy, they like the services a credit union provides, and they often are emotionally invested and loyal to the bone. These core ideas every Credit Union shares makes our jobs as storytellers, creators, directors, producers and editors at a video production company much easier, and best of all, more fulfilling.”

First we meet our advertising clients in person

Or we get on a conference call. In the case of 1st Advantage, we deal directly with the client to find out the messaging we need to communicate.  The market we are trying to inspire and persuade.  And most importantly, the feeling we want to leave our viewers with after they watch the credit union tv ads.  

Next, depending on the creative brief or storyboards, we find acting talent...

This may be actors who we cast through a variety of wonderful casting agent partners, or this could be non-professional, authentic employees or members.  Regardless of which direction the creative takes us, when they get in front of the camera, everyone becomes "talent"...and we find all talent can channel credit union advertising stories because the stories are true.  They are authentic.  And they form the basis for all stages of life: having a baby, getting married, buying a home, buying a car, starting a business, saving for vacation, saving for college, and planning for retirement.

Then we shoot or film the handcrafted commercials during the production.

Typically we only need a day or two depending on the creative.  Shoots can sometimes be complex, sometimes minimalistic adventures, but one thing is always true: no two shoots are ever quite the same.  Regardless of style, size of crew, creative direction, or aesthetic, from the moment the Director of Photography puts his eye to the viewfinder, we're making cinematic magic.

Explore Media is a full-service video production company with 4K HD editing suites.

After the shoot, the footage is brought to a post house to edit the video for the commercials.  Our 4K HD editing capabilities means the footage we capture will look as beautiful as planned by our director and shot by our production team.  After we deliver a 1st Rough Cut (we call it RC1) to the advertising agency or credit union marketing department, we make changes based on notes.  Then we deliver a 2nd Rough Cut (RC2), and, if needed, a 3rd rough cut, each version finding more shape and delivering more emotional impact.  At the point all parties agree the commercial has "Picture Lock", meaning the shots are all approved in the exact way they are presented, we send out Music + Voice or Narration for a Mixdown and Sound Design in a Fine Cut (FC).  At the same time, we send out the 4K video images to be color corrected in a professional color grading system like Da Vinci, Smoke or Flame.

Finally, we assemble all finished pieces into a beautiful looking, rich-sounding visual explosion -- a Credit Union TV Commercial Campaign.  We deliver the spots via 1080p HD digital video to the network and cable outlets, and the credit union marketing campaign is underway.

See the two ads we produced for 1st Advantage Federal Credit Union below, followed by two more television spots created for Interra Credit Union, and finally one tv advertisement produced with INOVA Federal Credit Union. 

One note with 1st Advantage - we worked directly with their marketing director who is based out of Virginia, but due to scheduling conflicts and a new baby on the way for his family, we never actually met in person.  Looks like collaboration can still create over great distances!  We're still working on the research whether creativity is like a sneeze and can actually transcend long distances to connect, inspire, and yes, elicit a physical response from an auditory or visual communication.  More on that in another case study... 

We hope you enjoyed this look into how we produce good Credit Union TV Ads that work.  This particular project was shot in beautiful 4K, using the Varicam 35 camera system, and Angeniuex & Cooke Lens systems.  To read a review and case study on the specific Panasonic Varicam 35 results from this project, read the blog "Varicam 35 Helps Grab Beautiful Images for Credit Union TV Spot"

To read more Case Studies, scroll to the bottom of this page.

"Her Way" and "Perfect Fit" TV Commercial Campaign Credits

Client - 1st Advantage Federal Credit Union

Production Company: Explore Media
Director: Jeremy Pinckert
Cinematographer: Jamieson Mulholland
Assistant Director / Producer: Quinn Wilson
Gaffer: Rick Herrington / Dean Horn
Assistant Camera: Allen Lee
Set Design: Sean Budde
Wardrobe/Makeup:  Olivia
Grips: Ben Gershman, Scott Anderson
Production Assistant:  Lauren Delaney
Location Audio:  Dana Mroczek, Rob Davis
Composer: Devin Delaney
Editor: Michael Schmalzried
Sound Design:  Stosh Tuszynski
Color Correction:  Kelly Armstrong

Read Other Case Studies