IMA launches new ad campaign

The Institute of Management Accountants has launched a new ad campaign aimed at highlighting the continuing relevance of the management accounting profession in the face of new technologies like robotic process automation and artificial intelligence.

A continuation of the IMA’s “You’ve Got to Earn It” campaign from 2017, the new multi-channel campaign focuses on how holders of the IMA’s Certified Management Accountant credential can leverage technologies like RPA and AI to deliver high-level strategic analysis that those tools can’t deliver on their own.

“It’s about creating awareness about the great part of this profession called management accounting — particularly with all the facts and fictions and hype surrounding robotics and artificial intelligence, and we play with that,” IMA president and CEO Jeff Thomson told Accounting Today.

“All of us in the profession have an opportunity to not let the relevance and influence of the profession stagnate in the face of robotics and AI,” he added. “If we upscale and upgrade our relevance, we can grow our relevance and our attractiveness to young people.”

“Last year’s campaign focused on the fact that robots are coming into the world of accounting and a CMA credential could help you survive,” said David Bernstein, chief creative officer of The Gate / New York, the ad agency that developed the campaign with the IMA, in a statement. “This year’s campaign assumes that knowledge. So it focuses on how well CMAs work with robots. In our buddy film, they like working together. They’re friends. They’re just not equals — much to the chagrin of the robot.”

A still from the IMA's 2018 'You've Got to Earn It' campaign

The IMA also expects that the ads will boost interest in the CMA credential, and its membership overall.

“In terms of the outcomes, as a result of Year Two of our ad campaign, we grew the CMA program in the U.S. by over 20 percent,” Thomson said. “We’ve seen very impressive results on the investment.”

“This is actually the third year of our ad campaign,” he explained. “It’s all part of sustainable growth and awareness — there’s a lot of one-hit wonder approaches in terms of beginning ad campaigns, but in branding it’s important to sustain the message and the continuity of the message: explaining what management accounting is, and how it adds value to careers and to society as a whole.”

“With TV and radio campaigns around the world, this shows our commitment to our members and to the profession and to the future of the profession,” he continued. “We’ve been growing the CMA program in double digits around the world for many years now, and have made significant commitments to continue to grow, and we think that’s good for the members and the profession, and for society at large.”

In addition, to TV and radio elements, the campaign will include digital, social media and search engine marketing in the U.S. Certain campaign components will also be extended to Europe, the Middle East, India, China and Southeast Asia.

Watch a TV spot from the campaign on YouTube.

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