A Milestone

November 16, 2006 | 16 comments
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Today is the first time I’ve seen advertising directed at Mormons that didn’t scream ‘priestcraft.’

BT linked to three ads from the Deseret First bank that play up the Mormon angle not to convince you that you have to bank there to be a good person and not to convince you that there will be miracles in your life if you bank there. Not only that, but the ads are (a little bit) funny. They got it just right–playing on the stereotypes of Mormon culture without making fun of the Church. Good job.

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16 Responses to A Milestone

  1. Mark Butler on November 16, 2006 at 9:13 am

    Just a quibble. It is Deseret First Credit Union, which was originally established in 1955 as the LDS Church Employees Credit Union. In 1984 the field of membership was expanded to all members of the Church and the name was changed.

    To keep credit unions from growing into rivals of first class banks, the law (in one of the great ironies of history) requires that each focus on its charter audience based on a defined common bond of occupation, association, or geography. And as it turns out the charter audience of Deseret First is members and employees of the Church and related organizations. That means that since the recent (1998) tightening of the law governing federally chartered credit unions, a natural right to become a member of Deseret First is only extended to members of the Church. Call it legally mandated discrimination. Other credit unions have (and are required to enforce) similar rules – each based on social affiliation of some type (cf. 12 USC 1759).

    In any case, Deseret First is an excellent credit union. I just wish they had a few more branches. [It should be noted of course that Deseret First is neither owned nor operated by the Church, but rather is an independently governed member organization as are all credit unions].

  2. Julie M. Smith on November 16, 2006 at 10:36 am

    Thanks, Mark Butler, that’s a little . . . weird.

  3. Marjorie Conder on November 16, 2006 at 10:54 am

    The “Deseret” name should have been a dead giveaway that the intended audience was not neutral as far as religion is concerned. I am a member of this credit union and yes, I have enjoyed these new ads. I am surprised that Julie is seeing them as far away as Texas.

  4. Nate Oman on November 16, 2006 at 10:58 am

    Indeed, by definition a credit union can’t be owned or controlled by another entity…

  5. John Mansfield on November 16, 2006 at 11:27 am

    There was a time I did most of my banking at Ensign Federal Credit Union, whose membership base was members of the North Las Vegas Nevada and Las Vegas Central Nevada stakes. The officers and board were current and former stake leaders, our own little Kirtland Anti-Banking Society. Cumorah FCU was organized by stakes in the southern part of Las Vegas, and Kolob FCU was in Henderson. Ensign and Cumorah now are open to members of the Church and their families from anywhere in Nevada. Kolob has kept its geographical focus, but extended membership to anyone who lives or works in Henderson.

  6. Julie M. Smith on November 16, 2006 at 11:28 am

    “I am surprised that Julie is seeing them as far away as Texas.”

    Youtube.com

  7. Michael on November 16, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    I am a member of Deseret First CU and I live in Orlando, FL. The ads are very funny. I shared them with my gospel doctrine class on the computer.

  8. Ben H on November 16, 2006 at 10:33 pm

    More commercials, and downloadable (for Windows Media), on the Deseret First website

  9. CE_Digger on November 17, 2006 at 4:27 am

    I don’t see how they aren’t a priestcraft? What’s so Mormon about them? What are our “common values”? A belief that usury will improve our financial situation? Does this one close early on Monday evenings for FHE like the D.I.? Or just a guarantee that the teller won’t cuss in front of children?

  10. A. Nonny Mouse on November 17, 2006 at 10:52 am

    Just a side note, my brother-in-law works at Deseret First, and he says that membership at DFCU is extended to anyone who:

    A. is a member of the church (you don’t have to be active. Anybody who was born in the church and baptized at age 8 and then leaves the church and never comes back qualifies. And no, they don’t check your membership records or consult your bishop)
    B. is an employee of any company owned by the church. This means that anybody who works for any branch of any of the various companies owned by the church can work there. So, employees at WTOP in Washington DC or KOIT in San Francisco can join.
    C. Anybody who is a family member of somebody who is part of group A or group B can join, I believe.

    There may be even one more category of people that escapes my mind at the moment, I’ll check with him later today to make sure.

    Also as a side note: these ads have been around for… at least a month or two now. It’s kinda fun to see how fast it took non-Utah folks to see’em via YouTube.

  11. WillF on November 17, 2006 at 7:43 pm

    >Today is the first time I’ve seen advertising directed at Mormons that didn’t scream ‘priestcraft.’

    So what ads have you seen that scream priestcraft the loudest?

  12. Alison Moore Smith on November 17, 2006 at 8:27 pm

    I have quite enjoyed these ads, too. Particularly the one with the guy who thinks everyone will rush the bank (er…credit union) due to his amazing sacrament meeting talk.

  13. Julie M. Smith on November 17, 2006 at 8:31 pm

    “I don’t see how they aren’t a priestcraft? “

    They don’t promise anything for joining–no miracles, no increased spirituality, etc.

    “So what ads have you seen that scream priestcraft the loudest?

    I think the copy in the Deseret Book catalog really pushes the line sometimes–stories about “miracles” occurring in scripture study because of the use of a certain product, for instance.

  14. a random John on November 21, 2006 at 1:12 pm

    I find the ads offensive and annoying.

  15. Austin F. on November 22, 2006 at 9:34 pm

    The Ads are great if you have a sense of humor!

  16. a random John on November 22, 2006 at 11:08 pm

    Thanks Austin! I say the same thing about Banner of Heaven.