BC’s accountants show how a CPA can be life changing

Who: The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia, with One Twenty Three West for strategy, creative and media, production by Cantera Studio, and music by Grayson Music Group.

What: “You to the Power of CPA,” a recruitment campaign intended to get more young people to enter the accounting profession and get their CPA.

When & Where: The campaign is live now through the end of March, running across the province on connected and over-the-top TV, digital (display and social) and out of home.

Why: Most marketing for professional associations tends to focus on people in suits talking about career paths and business success. This is not that. Instead, One Twenty Three West went uptempo and energetic to deliver a message about transformation in one’s professional life and beyond.

“Before we developed the brief, we interviewed CPAs working in B.C. and one of the interesting things we learned was that the professional training not only impacted their professional lives, but their personal lives too,” said One Twenty Three West group strategy director Colin Carroll in a release introducing the campaign. “So we wanted the campaign to lean into the notion of transformation and really show how life-changing the designation can be.”

How: The campaign puts the focus on the ways a person’s life becomes “exponentially better” when they get their CPA.

A 30-second anchor spot called “Out” opens with the super “Become a CPA” over the opening chords of “I Need a Lover” by the pop punk band Bubble Boys.

The rest of the spot uses a mix of animation and live-action footage to show people doing a range of very YOLO type things—dancing in an astronaut suit, skydiving, skateboarding with a cute dog, etc. “(Out)” appears on screen along with words like “smart,” “maneuver,” “shine,” “grow” and “do,” before closing with super “(You) to the power of CPA.”

There’s not one shot of a calculator or business handshake in the entire spot. And instead of that cool stuff being powered by, oh I dunno, an energy drink called “Yeet Lava” (ed. this was sooo close to referencing an actual thing) it’s instead powered by a CPA.

“People automatically make assumptions as soon as they hear the word ‘accounting’ that the material might be a bit dry, but we really wanted to show the exciting career benefits of a CPA, and do it in a way that you wouldn’t expect, “ explained One Twenty Three West creative director Steven Kim.

And we quote: “We want to make sure people consider a CPA when they’re set on supercharging their career… A CPA designation allows you to make a positive impact, to transform yourself, and really make a difference in your career and life.” —Kerri Brkich, vice president, external affairs and communications, CPABC

David Brown