It's business time... when accountants advertise

  • Advertising
  • March 5, 2012
  • Cath Winks
It's business time... when accountants advertise

With only two things certain in life, death and taxes, accountants can count themselves lucky (geddit?) they're in one of the few sectors with almost no need to advertise. As the late great Albert Einstein himself pointed out: "The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax." So, you know there must be a GFC happening when you see previously cloistered bean counters putting down their calculators and promoting their maths skills in a fancy-pants digital marketing campaign. The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) has teamed up with Clemenger BBDO and OMD to launch its first advertising campaign in five years.

Youtube Video

The new campaign focuses on video case studies hosted on a range of news and business websites, supported with a bit of print and PR. Top skin care business Trilogy is the focus of the first of these doco-ads. Sisters Sarah Gibbs, chartered accountant, and Catherine De Groot, co-founded Trilogy in a shed back in 2002, now it's a $20 million success story. In the three minute video the two sisters talk about Trilogy's phenomenal success, and how it was all thanks to Gibbs' keen head for numbers.

Shot in black and white, on a minimalist set, the videos use little in the way of visual overlay, and this results in a stark yet slick campaign with a very clear message: ‘Business does better with NZICA members’. The campaign will run for the next few years, but with new case studies added every couple of months.

"Before I started Trilogy I probably didn't realize what accountants did," admits Catherine De Groot. Luckily for her, she had a brainy sister who did:

"What chartered accountancy brought into this business, was the very procedural style that we operate in. I like process and I like the discipline around the structure of the business. Business is about making money!" says Gibbs in the video.

Ian McDougall, marketing manager for NZICA, says the idea come about during discussions as to the best way to for the NZICA brand to substantiate itself in the market:

"The best strategy to prove our accountants' worth was by using evidence of real life case studies. We simply looked at our list of members and picked out some of the best stories. We plan to film 8-12 a year. Kokako Organic coffe roasters are the next off the block."


Client: The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants

  • Ian McDougall Director of Marketing

  • Rebecca Ingram Director of Communications

  • Roderick Keating Marketing Coordinator

Agency: Clemengers BBDO and OMD

  • Creative Director is Dan Moth Clemenger BBDO Wellington

  • Art Director Mike de Tullio

  • Filming and editing Aaron Hilton


And with business out the way, it's now time for some accountant jokes:

What does an accountant do when they are constipated?
They get a pencil and work it out.

When does a person decide to become an accountant?
When he realizes that he doesn't have the charisma to become an undertaker.

Why did the accountant cross the road?
To bore the people on the other side.

What does an accountant use for birth control?
His or her personality.

How can you tell when an accountant is extroverted?
They look at your shoes while they are talking to you instead of their own.

What do you call an accountant seen talking to someone?

What do accountant's do for fun?
Add up the telephone book.

If an accountant's spouse can't get to sleep, what do they do?
Lean over and say "Tell me about your work today, honey."

And finally:
A lady goes to see her doctor with some very worrisome symptoms. After examining her, he says, "I'm terribly sorry to tell you this, but you only have six months to live." The lady is very distraught, "Oh doctor, what should I do", she asks. The doctor says, "I advise you to marry a chartered accountant." "Will that make me live longer?", she asks, hopefully. "No, " says the doctor. "But it will seem longer."

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