Brand Awareness

In 2006, Alcoa Employees and Community Credit Union, a longstanding Midwestern financial institution, needed to separate from the world’s third-largest aluminum producer. (Tale as old as time, right?) After settling on a new name and logo, the newly-christened Ascentra brought in the Ethic team to take over the development of their young brand, and we’ve been nurturing and helping it grow ever since.


Membership Growth

Although Ascentra is a dominant financial institution in its market today, it was a different story back in 2013. Back then, membership growth was priority number one—and also numbers two through ten—which meant Ethic was hyper-focused on brand awareness and memorable advertising. Here’s what we did. (Spoiler alert: it worked.)

  • Radio
  • Email Marketing
  • Billboard
  • TV Spot
  • Branding
Ascentra logo


Growing membership was the focus in 2013. We kicked the year off with bold new creative to revitalize Ascentra's connection to the community and attract new members.


Use the community itself as a vehicle to deliver marketing messages. The physical model reinforced Ascentra's roots in the Quad Cities, and was a powerful and memorable visual device.

Paper City being built

A Paper City

A hand-made, cut paper replica of the Quad Cities and surrounding communities was the hero of Ascentra’s membership campaign. Several paperscapes were used in print, outdoor and online advertising, as well as stop-motion style commercials to underscore Ascentra’s ties to the community.

Ascentra Winter Paper Scene
Ascentra Winter Paper Scene Closeup
Ascentra Brochure
Ascentra Billboard
Ascentra Home Mortgage ad
Ascentra Break Free Social ad

The Results

Membership and deposits tripled during Q1.

Most new members in one month in 2.5 years.

Home & Auto loan’s increased by over 38%.

Online enrollment increased over 40%.

The campaign won six CUNA Diamond Awards.

Paper City being built

CUNA Diamond Award

Best in Category, of any sized CU asset, for Brand Awareness.

CUNA Award
Jennifer Naeve at Ascentra

"Ethic has been an excellent partner of ours and we really look at them as an extension of our Marketing Department. Together, our credit union has received recognition nationally for our excellence in marketing and branding earning us numerous CUNA Diamond Awards. Our collaborative partnership has really helped us take our marketing efforts to the next level."

Jennifer Naeve | VP of Marketing & Public Relations

Growing Together

Ethic and Ascentra go way back, over 15 years, and many of the campaigns we’ve developed over that time have involved mascots. See how we gracefully retired “Franklin,” a faceless homogeneous figure, replacing him with “Fran and Friends” in 2019.

Check it out »