RUAGG? Txt in the ’40s, and “For bologna see your butcher”

This entry was posted by Thursday, 30 September, 2010
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Learning how credit unions marketed themselves and sought new members are benefits to working with archival material at CUNA.  Once in a while, I come across a campaign that serves as a reminder that  abbreviations and pithy slogans have been around for a long time.

RUAGG?  Was used in a membership drive by the Line Materials Company Credit Union of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1945 [Bridge, September 1945, p. 196-199].   I’m sure most of us can recognize the R-U as a texting abbreviation for ”are you.”  That leaves us with the need to decifier ”AGG?” For the Line Materials Credit Union, “AGG?” stood for “A Go-Getter?”

Placed together we have the question, “Are You A Go-Getter?”  While this question was asked in 1945, we can still ask it today.  In 1945, twelve questions were asked to determine if you qualified as a “Go-Getter.”  Today, we offer six questions based on those issued in 1945.

ARE YOU…talking to your co-workers about joining the credit union?

ARE YOU…promoting the services of credit unions?

ARE YOU…becoming educated in credit union activities?

ARE YOU…acquainted with the business affairs of your credit union?

ARE YOU…giving thought to ideas which will help your credit union grow and give better service?

ARE YOU…reading Credit Union Magazine?

IF YOU are doing all of the above you are on the road to being “A Go-Getter”; and a “GO-GETTER” can do more good for the credit union than anything else.

Now that we’ve determined that you are a “Go-Getter” we can discuss some other recommendations and slogans placed in newsletters and newspapers during the Line Materials Credit Union membership drive.

1.  Do you need a loan for income or property tax?  Secure it from your credit union.

2.  For bologna see your butcher; for facts on loans see your credit union.

3.  Our government requests us to ‘fill our coal bins early.’  If you need a loan consult your credit union first.  Save your war bonds.

4.  For a lawsuit see your lawyer; for an easter suit see your credit union.

5. Clean up! Paint up! Repair! If you are in need of a loan consult your credit union first.

6. Don’t cash in your war bonds if you need cash; consult your credit union first.

The Line Materials Credit Union also used letters, film strip  presentations and a 10,000 sticker campaign.  Today we understand a sticker campaigns as part of guerrilla marketing.  In 1945 it was suggested that members “use these stickers promiscuously and conspicuously,” by always carrying some and place them on menus, on soap, canned goods, packaged goods, periodicals, cigarettes, candy bars, and personal correspondence.  The message was the same then as it is now, “show your brand.”  Make your brand stand-out and be seen where possible.

The campaign was a success as 86 new members were added during the drive.  This increase was the highest in Wisconsin for 1945.

The photograph below shows Directors meeting to discuss the membership drive.  Shown are L-R: Walter Akre, Vice President; Donald Harling, Treasurer; Lawrence Giese, President; Harold Schroeder, Secretary; Ed Loewe; Herbert Bell; and Edith Worm.

These credit unionists were true “Go-Getters!”  They succeed in creating a successful membership campaign.  More importantly, they provided direction that we can still use today and provided even better lines for the next time you need a pithy saying with a credit union slant.

Lawrence Giese outlining preliminary membership drive plans for consideration of directors, around table (left to right): Walter Akre, vice president; Donald Harling, treasurer; Lawrence Giese; Harold Schroeder, secretary; Ed Loewe; Herbert Bell; and Edith Worm.

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