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WASHINGTON MUTUAL DEBUTS QUIRKY NORTHWEST ADS

 SEATTLE, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Washington Mutual (NASDAQ: WAMU) today debuted a series of radio and television advertisements that highlight the quirky nature of life in the Northwest -- such as a Washington precision lawn mower drill team and an Oregon bullfrog racing contest.
 The new campaign, dubbed "That's Different. That's Washington Mutual," features homegrown oddities, Northwest locales and the familiar voice of John Cullum, who plays Holling on CBS-TV's hit series "Northern Exposure."
 One television ad captures the antics of 12 tuxedo-clad members of the Warm Beach Athletic Association Garden Auxiliary Men's Precision Lawn Mower Drill Team, based on Camano Island, Wash. Filmed at Fort Casey on Whidbey Island, the men maneuver manual lawn mowers through paces reminiscent of the choreography made famous by late American film director Busby Berkeley.
 The announcer intones, "If you think this is out of the ordinary, what if we told you about a Northwest banking team that actually chooses to work with people like you instead of big businesses? That's different. That's Washington Mutual."
 The "That's Different" campaign comes on the heels of the highly successful "Merge with Washington Mutual" multimedia effort. Both campaigns, created by advertising firm McCann-Erickson Seattle, describe the advantages of banking with the Northwest's largest locally managed, independently owned consumer bank.
 The "That's Different" campaign features two 30-second television ads and three 60-second radio commercials. Washington Mutual introduced the ads today in Washington and Oregon markets.
 "People may wonder why a local, independent consumer bank would embrace such quirky ads," said Deanna Oppenheimer, Washington Mutual's executive vice president of corporate relations, who oversees bank advertising.
 "Washington and Oregon residents who watch these ads will realize that only a local company such as Washington Mutual could possibly understand the Northwest's odd sense of humor," Oppenheimer said. "We've been part of the Northwest for 104 years."
 The second "That's Different" television ad shows champion log roller Bill McGarry, 33, of Lewiston, Idaho, playing a polka on an accordion while rolling a raw log in a pond. A trained squirrel and the same Washington State University moose shown in the opening credits of "Northern Exposure" watch McGarry with amusement. McGarry, who has been log rolling since he was 12 years old, spent several hours on his log during the production of the commercial.
 Three "That's Different" radio ads highlight:
 -- The Muddy Frogwater Festival and Corn Roast in Milton-Freewater, Ore. The festival, held during the third week in August, is famous for its live music, food booths, wine tastings -- and championship frog racing. Just up the road from Milton-Freewater is Washington Mutual's Walla Walla Financial Center.
 -- The home of the world's largest egg: Winlock, Wash. Perched on a pedestal above Highway 411 about 60 miles north of Portland, the 11-foot-long Grade A Extra Large is a tribute to the hens and roosters of Lewis County. Not far from Winlock is Washington Mutual's Chehalis Financial Center.
 -- Archie McPhee's, a combination novelty shop and Polynesian- style espresso bar in Seattle. Archie McPhee's has the area's largest supply of rubber chickens. It also sells glow-in-the-dark slugs and Elvis ballpoint pens. Washington Mutual's Wallingford Financial Center is a few blocks from the Seattle landmark.
 Serving the financial needs of Northwest families and individuals, Washington Mutual is largest locally managed, independently owned consumer bank in the Northwest, having assets of $9 billion and operating 119 financial centers and 17 home loan centers in Washington and Oregon.
 -0- 2/22/93
 /CONTACT: Roger Nyhus of Washington Mutual, 206-461-6390/
 (WAMU)


CO: Washington Mutual Savings Bank; McCann-Erickson Seattle ST: Washington, Oregon IN: FIN SU:

JH-SW -- SE003 -- 0019 02/22/93 12:56 EST
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Date:Feb 22, 1993
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