This September, IMA® launched its fourth major advertising campaign in as many years. Our overall theme this year takes the words of Don Draper, the fictional “adman” in the acclaimed TV series Mad Men, to heart: “Success comes from standing out, not fitting in.”
The global, integrated campaign takes a comedic but relevant take on this theme. The 30-second anchor television spot shows a conference room where everyone has a seat at the table but only one person finds the courage to speak. The headline, “Be the most valuable voice in the room,” and the voiceover underscore how accounting and finance professionals who earn the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification are better positioned to advance their careers through greater expertise and confidence.
The campaign features five other spots, all aimed at the simple truth that ambitious accountants would rather connect the dots—and become a CMA—than count them. The ads compel professionals to overcome their inertia, depicted through idioms like “having a low ceiling on your career,” “pounding your head against the wall,” and, from a positive perspective, having the knowledge to “blow people away with your insights.”
IMA developed this approach based on careful research, including new reports that show that certification provides advantages for accounting and finance professionals. The campaign’s themes reflect insights we also obtained from more than 140 focus group interviews we conducted with members and nonmembers around the world. We learned that management accountants benefit from a CMA certification through their gained ability to think strategically and their confidence to make smart decisions that impact the company.
As these ads seek to show, earning the CMA certification is about more than staying relevant in today’s digital workplace—it’s about thriving in it. We’re communicating the message that management accountants who understand advanced technologies and strategies will excel as the profession moves forward and that CMA certification allows them to reach that potential.
We created the ads in partnership with international advertising agency The Gate New York, which has been behind all three of our previous campaigns. We’re using programmatic television, print, social media, and search engine marketing in the United States and select components customized to each region in Europe, the Middle East, India, China, and Southeast Asia. If you’re in the U.S., you may have seen the ads in October while watching your favorite late-night talk show. Look for them again starting in January 2020.
IMA members can do their part, too. I encourage you to share a link (bit.ly/2ooT4CH) to the commercial on social media and help in the effort to spread the brand awareness and brand credibility of the CMA. Your efforts will help the CMA become even more recognized around the world!