MullenLowe Helps Navy Federal Credit Union Find Humor in its Ads

By Kyle O'Brien 

Navy Federal Credit Union isn’t really known for humor in its advertising. Previous spots have usually featured the pride members have in their service to the country and what it means to be a member.

For its latest campaign, the financial institution is finally getting out the funny, with a series of spots by MullenLowe U.S. that feature its members caught in awkwardly comical situations as they think about what life would be like without the financial services of NFCU.


The spots in the “Our Members are the Mission” campaign begin with members casually talking about the benefits of Navy Federal Credit Union, from cash back to savings, auto loans and rewards. They then say, “I can’t imagine where I’d be without them,” and are then thrust into scenarios where they have to imagine a world without the goods and services that NFCU has allowed them to have, like the treehouse that disappears and leaves children stranded in a tree, the car that suddenly vanishes as two guys are in the middle of a drive-through car wash, or the woman who suddenly races through an urban landscape to recover her forgotten credit card.

“Throughout the past year, our marketing tone focused on the challenges and changing circumstances our members faced, reassuring and reminding them of the exceptional service they can expect from Navy Federal Credit Union. It’s the right time to launch an entirely fresh, new campaign that entertains our longtime and potential new members, with a humor that reflects our brand,” Pam G. Piligian, svp, marketing and communications, Navy Federal Credit Union, said in a statement. “A World with Navy Federal Credit Union” spots are a great reaffirmation of the impact we bring to our members’ day-to-day lives and the campaign has potential for more stories to come.”

MullenLowe was charged with featuring multiple branches of the military in the campaign, given that NFCU services active duty, veterans and their families from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Space Force. The creative and production teams worked with a military consultant and veterans on the NFCU team and at MullenLowe to ensure that casting, wardrobe and tone were on the mark and accurate. The team also worked with Vets2Set, an organization that helps military veterans find work on production sets.

“This is our first big campaign for Navy Federal Credit Union where we could start from scratch and create a funny and consistent concept with NFCU as the hero,” Jon Ruby, group creative director at MullenLowe U.S., said in a statement. “The sly humor is an outlier in the category, which tends to be a little more straightforward, conservative and serious.”


Agency: MullenLowe

Tim Vaccarino, Executive Creative Director

Dave Weist, Executive Creative Director

Jon Ruby, Group Creative Director

Albert Breitwieser, Associate Creative Director

Tanya Wasyluk, Associate Creative Director

Lisa Setten, Executive Director of Integrated Production

Vera Everson, Executive Producer

Abby Cottrill, Producer

Kim Burns, Director of Business Affairs

Kayleigh Ristuben, Business Affairs Manager

Emily Brooks, Group Account Director

Sara Vater, Account Director

Abby Bornstein, Account Supervisor


Client: Navy Federal Credit Union

Pam Piligian, SVP, Marketing & Communications

Joe Bock, VP Brand & Product Marketing

Michelle Schoening, Head of Creative Services & UX Development

Caroline Currie, Brand & Product Marketing Manager

Heather Jacobs, Assistant Manager – Brand & Product Marketing

Mario Alvez, Assistant Manager – Social Media Marketing

Mia Carosi, Brand Marketing Strategist III


Production: Arts & Sciences

Adam & Dave, Directors

John Benson, Executive Producer

Pat Harris, Producer


Editorial: PS260

JJ Lask, Editor

Tyler Hurst, Editor

Megan Dahlman, Executive Producer

Ashley Ingbretson, Assistant Editor


Finishing: PS260

Natalie Raffaele, Finishing Producer

Margaret Yang, Flame Artist

Anthony Augusta, Flame Assistant


Color Corrections: Company3

Artist: Tim Masick


Audio Post: SoundLounge NY

Mixer: Tom Jucarone

Producer: Lauren Mullen