Baseball is back! In case you missed it, the Cubs did open the season with a bang. The Cubs lead-off hitter Ian Happ launched the first pitch of the season out into the stands in Miami. Here’s to hoping that is a positive sign for this year. There was also a little marketing drama in baseball leading up to opening day. The Yankees got in trouble because they were selling beer that had the players faces lasered into the foam (Why didn’t I think of that). This of course is against the league rules since players cannot endorse alcoholic beverage products. It is kind of surprising to me that this doesn’t happen more often. Anytime I watch a game on TV or go and watch the baby Cubs play here is Des Moines, you see different forms of advertisements all over the place. For a game that averages about 3 hours in length there are plenty of spots to fill, which means plenty of opportunity to be “creative”.
When you think about it, advertising in the credit union space isn’t really that different. This time of year we see a big push when it comes to marketing. As we start heading into spring there is a big push when it comes to home lending campaigns. New branches are starting to open up and you want to start driving foot traffic into those new locations. Yea, it is that time of year when the creative juices get flowing. The issue is that there are times that we are so pumped about our awesome and creative campaign, that we overlook the possible limits we may have when advertising for those products. I’ll be honest, if I would have come up with an idea like laser drawn faces into beer foam I probably would have done the same thing.
The thing you have to remember though is that your marketing and advertising is open to everyone. So if you are missing any required disclosures, or if you say something that might not be 100% factual, anyone could point that out to your friendly neighborhood examiner or attorney general’s office. That is why it is important that compliance gets looped into the creative process early on. The earlier things can be caught the better, because you don’t want to spend hours creating this awesome piece just to find out it doesn’t work. And for those compliance folks out there, be flexible with your marketing department. Not everything is doom and gloom. Trust me, that was a lesson that I eventually learned myself. The Yankees are a perfect example of how you can still be creative and compliant. It wasn’t that they couldn’t laser etch the foam at all, it is just that they needed to tweak the way in which they did it.
Alright, now who is ready for a cold one?