CU Water Cooler

Angry Credit Unions?

Tim McAlpineComment

Have you heard of Angry Bird? Of course you have. News recently hit that the popular mobile time waster (I mean game) has been downloaded 200 million times since launching in December 2009 on the iPhone. In just 18 months, the app has expanded to most of the mobile and desktop platforms and has progressed into a bono fide media brand with plush toys, apparel, movie studio tie-ins and an impending feature movie deal. Angry Birds has gone from zero to a part of the pop culture zietgiest in no time. The price for a download ranges from free for the ad-supported version to 99 cents on a small screen and up to $5 for tablet and desktop versions. This all ads up to a lot of money.

Whenever I see something like this, I always ask myself, "Why can't credit unions do this?" To put 200 million in 18 months into perspective, it has taken credit unions 100 years to grown to 184 million worldwide members.

The awareness of Angry Birds is ubiquitous along the 35-and-under crowd. Whereas, ask the general population what a credit union is and you'll find that most people have little understanding of what a credit union is let alone the benefits.

What can credit unions learn from the amazing success of Angry Birds? Discuss.


Tim McAlpine is the co-founder of CU Water Cooler. He lives in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. He is the President and Creative Director of Currency Marketing, an integrated marketing agency specializing in helping credit unions attract the next generation of members. Tim is best known as the creator of Young & Free