When it comes to four letter words, “fees” has to be right up there for consumers.


When it comes to four letter words, “fees” has to be right up there for consumers. In fact, I remember reading about a study a while back in which 68% of respondents said that providing free checking with no hidden requirements was an important factor when choosing a bank or credit union. In the same study, “60% said the they’d be more likely to leave their current financial institution if they charged hidden fees and did not offer free checking.”

(On a related note, one of the first “free checking” ads I remember wishing I’d written had the headline: So what’s free checking costing you? It’s wry, simple, clever and speaks to the issue: a lot of free checking is not truly free.)



Not long ago, we were asked to create a free checking promotion for one of our clients, Tuscaloosa Credit Union, and I wanted to share the creative. Our audience: members who didn’t have a checking account, and might be fed up with the fees they’re paying for “free checking” with their current financial partner. 



We took a playful approach to speak to this particular consumer “pain point.”



Visually it’s the dreaded asterisk that has most come to symbolize the “hidden” fees, so we built the concept around asterisks modified to look like mosquitoes that are swarming Joe Consumer. 

During the planning, as a point of sale extension, we talked about creating conversation-piece, mock aerosol cans that would be positioned at the teller windows and the labels would read: “Fee Spray.”

Contact me to learn more about how MarketMatch uses proven creative strategies to bring great work to life for credit unions and community banks across the country.