With a Refreshing Look at the ‘Human Side of Military Life,’ These Credit Union Spots Keep It Real

Fitzco helps launch new brand platform for Navy Federal

This is the perfect time to talk about minivans. Navy Federal Credit Union / Fitzco

Active military, veterans and their families have a lot on their minds, including how they can be successful financially. Money can be a serious subject but Navy Federal Credit Union, of late, has taken a lighter approach with work from its agency of record, Fitzco in Atlanta.

Closing in on nine years as the brand’s agency, Fitzco has launched a new tagline, ‘Our Members Are the Mission,’ with lighthearted ads that focus on financing a vehicle, using mobile banking or redeeming credit card points.

“We wanted to show the human side of military life—to allow viewers to be a fly on the wall as active duty military, veterans, and their families have real conversations about real life,” said Noel Cottrell, Fitzco Chief Creative Officer. “They still dream and talk about the same stuff that everyone dreams and talks about. Juxtaposing financial moments with the day-to-day life events shows that Navy Federal truly understands the nuances of military life and are ready to help accomplish any life mission.”

What’s nice about the work is that it squeezes enough out of the 30-seconds to keep the gag going, as opposed to an incomplete joke that gets overrun with too much of a sales pitch. Even those not in the military are easily in on the gags as all three spots speak to universal financial truths.

“Mud Run” is a discussion about ice—Hawaiian shave ice—and how points can be redeemed for a dream vacation to the islands as two men are in the midst of an intense training exercise. The entertaining conversation is mainly about why the frozen treat isn’t merely a ‘snow cone,’ and packs a strong payoff punch.

“Rowing” could very well take place in any gym, but two Navy women discuss the purchase of a used car (done easily through the credit union). As one woman remarks that the others’ son will “have girls in that car,” the other says, “Yeah, he’s going to have two of them” referring to her being an unwanted chaperone.

“Minivan” might be, ever so slightly, the best of the bunch, especially for those who can relate to choosing a vehicle for a family. The entertaining back and forth between two men results in a humorous tutorial on using the built-in vacuum in a minivan.

Aside from the new TV spots, the integrated campaign runs across digital, out-of-home, radio, social, search and PR.

“Our mission as a credit union and one that exclusively serves the military community has always been to put our members first and guide them through their financial journey,” said Pam Piligian, SVP Marketing & Communications at Navy Federal. “This campaign leans into Navy Federal’s purpose of putting our members first because our members truly are the mission.”


Chief Creative Officer: Noel Cottrell
Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer: David Matathia
Group Creative Director: Ryan Boblett
SVP, Group Account Director: Amber Adoue
SVP, Chief Production Officer: Christine Sigety
Creative Director: Bowen Mendelson
Creative Director: Michael Groenewald
VP, Account Director: Lindsey Tatgenhorst
Strategy Director: Greg Shumchenia
Account Supervisor: CarterJohnson
Account Manager: Dejana Peric
Designer: Mandy Cobb
Project Manager: Katie McAlister

Production company: Hungry Man
Director: Wayne McClammy
Managing Partner/Executive Producer: Kevin Byrne
Producer: Rick Jarjoura
Production Manager: Mike O’Connor
Director of Photography: Bryan Newman

Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor: Christjan Jordan
Assistant Editor: Pieter Vijoen
Executive Producer: Rana Martin
Producer: Dani DuHadway

Color: A52
Colorist: Paul Yacono
Executive Producer: Kim Christensen
Producer: Jenny Bright

VFX & Finishing: A52
Executive Producer: Kim Christensen
Producers: Stacy Kessler-Aungst, Andrew Rosenberger
VFX Supervisor: Andy McKenna

Animation/Design: Elastic
Head of Production: Kate Berry
Producer: Chris Almerico

Music: Beacon Street
Producer: Adrea Lavezzoli
Sound Design/Mix: Beacon Street
Producer: Kate Vadnais
Engineer: Rommel Molina

@zanger doug.zanger@adweek.com Doug Zanger is a senior editor, agencies at Adweek, focusing on creativity and agencies.