Lean On Us, Lead With Us - New National Brand Campaign

These past 20 months have been challenging for Canadian business leaders and individuals alike. And CPAs, known for their financial expertise and integrity, are an integral source of support for communities as they navigate the post-pandemic economic recovery. To showcase this vital role, CPA Canada has launched its 2021 national brand campaign with the theme, “Lean on us, lead with us” that presents CPAs as the trusted advisers Canadians turn to for help during uncertain times.

“The trust level is so low right now that businesspeople need to lean on someone to have a clear vision of where to go,” says Lyne Lortie, chair of the profession’s national branding committee and vice-president of public affairs, brand strategy and communications with the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec. “People need to lean on a trusted adviser, someone that is acting upon data, not just ideas.”

The creative component is comprised of 30-second and 15-second versions of a video commercial that will air on both English and French television programs as well as online on streaming platforms like Bell Media and YouTube. There is also be a dedicated campaign microsite.

“This campaign demonstrates to Canadians the crucial role that the accounting profession will play in the country’s post-pandemic recovery,” says Lortie. “It will demonstrate how essential we are to helping business and the economy not only navigate through the pandemic but also help organizations reinvent themselves.”

Stephen Kiely, president and CEO of dentsumcgarrybowen Canada, the agency behind the campaign, says they set out to first understand and then address what individual Canadians and industry leaders experienced during COVID. “This past year has all of us reflecting on the importance of relationships and our roles and connections. Not only in business, but the communities in which we live and serve,” he says. “We all [need to] move forward together. And the strength, integrity and knowledge of CPAs are fundamental to turning our greatest ambitions into success.

“The videos position the CPA as the backbone of the Canadian economy and the mission of the CPA to be the safeguard of business,” adds Kiely. “The CPA profession has a long, rich history of being that pillar that people can lean on. CPAs also have a history of helping to solidify business results and provide a gateway for growth.”

The new commercials appeal to the many highs and lows experienced during the pandemic by highlighting three different industries that saw immense change during this time, and a CPA who assisted these businesses to overcome their challenges. Viewers will meet a restaurateur who relied on a CPA to help navigate the transition to an e-commerce focus; a fintech start-up who depended on a CPA to help grow the company; and a CPA in biotech who used their skills to lead their firm to success.

“We want the person in St. John’s, Newfoundland to see themselves and appreciate this video, as much as somebody in high finance sitting on Bay Street,” says Kiely.

The commercials also demonstrate the success of CPAs not just in their professional roles, but also in the community and within their families, to further humanize the role of the accountant. For example, as Kiely explains, last year in Ontario, accounting firms offered to complete tax returns for frontline workers at no cost. To illustrate this connection, the vital work of members will be featured with uplifting stories on the microsite.

“The videos will inspire people to be proud of the profession, and to see how CPAs interact with businesses,” says Lortie. “They will also demonstrate how essential [accountants] are to helping business and the economy navigate through the pandemic, [and] to help reinvent themselves.”

The national campaign officially launched on October 25 and will run into the winter. More information and campaign materials are available at: leadwithusCPA.ca.