When you think of ‘credit unions’, you might not immediately think of ‘superheroes.’ It might be difficult to imagine a superhero that would convincingly represent something like a credit union. People tend to be interested in superheroes that defeat supervillains and repel alien invasions, not ones that save people from high interest rates.
But why not? Superheroes were and still are very present all over the advertising world. Take Batman, who somewhat famously starred in the OnStar tv commercials of the early 2000’s. He’s even been on several “Got Milk?” posters, as have Superman and all of the Avengers. And in recent years, we’ve gotten used to seeing tidal waves of tie-in advertising with each new Marvel or DC movie. Heck, we’ve even done superhero-themed campaigns for some of our clients. Superheroes and credit unions shouldn’t feel like such a stretch.
And don’t worry, you don’t need to look through rosters of superheroes to decide which best fits a credit union. I’ve already done that for you. So, without further ado, consider this my petition for Spider-Man to become the (un)official superhero of all credit unions.
The power of staying local
Part of what makes Spider-Man such an impactful superhero is that he tries to keep his focus local. Even if he occasionally travels to other dimensions or hitches a ride to space, Spider-Man always comes back home to Queens, New York to make sure someone’s looking after the little guys.
This means saving people from emergencies like muggings, fires and exploding cars, but also from everyday struggles like poverty and hopelessness. Spider-Man goes out of his way to make sure people know that someone’s looking out for them. In return, he gets their support and approval. Regular people have stood up for Spider-Man a number of times, as well.
Credit unions have this same advantage. The lack of shareholders means CUs get to focus on the people that matter most: their members and community. When people receive support, they’re even more likely to return the favor.
Never giving up on people
There are almost too many examples from the comics to count, but if you need evidence that Spider-Man doesn’t give up on anyone, look to Sony’s most recent installment, “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” In the 2021 movie he goes about trying to help some of his worst enemies, even when his own life is being overwhelmed by complications and tragedy.
Spider-Man has seen more than his share of hardship over the years. It’s actually a meme that Peter Parker is never allowed to be happy, and that “Parker Luck” is always a bad thing. But that never stops him from prioritizing saving lives and giving people a second chance.
A lot of people would argue that it’s Peter’s compassion that makes him Spider-Man, not just his superpowers. And compassion makes credit unions powerful, as well. CUs help a lot of people find their second chance at a stable, happy financial life. This ability to help people that other financial institutions would likely ignore is invaluable to the CU movement.
Doing the right thing, always
“With great power comes great responsibility,” is probably one of the most iconic lines of the Spider-Man franchise. Peter Parker does his best to live up to this motto, as do all of the other versions of Spider-Man. There are a lot of Spider-People, but this principle is one of the things that binds them together.
Barring mind-control, space-parasites, doppelgangers and other problems that comic book heroes face, you can always trust that Spider-Man is trying to do the right thing. Even when he makes mistakes, he owns up to them and does everything he can to fix the problem.
Credit unions share this superpower as well. When CUs are doing what they were designed to do, supporting the community, their members can rest easy. They can trust the CU to do the right thing, even through something frightening like the recent pandemic.
With so many credit unions there are bound to be disagreements on what the ‘right thing’ is. Some CUs might even get infected with alternate priorities like Bankthink. But being a hero means giving yourself a second chance, as well. These CUs can own up to their mistakes and work to fix the problem, just like Spider-Man.