The CFA Institute hopes to raise awareness of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation with a first-of-its-kind multimillion-dollar global marketing campaign.

Launched last month, the campaign is running in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., China and India, using the theme of “A Difference That Matters.”

The ad spots have CFA professionals talking about “deep knowledge of all things investing, a commitment to ethics, and a passion for always putting investors first.”

“The initial [ad] burst of six weeks will run through the first half of April,” said Joe Clift, the London-based chief brand marketing officer for the CFA Institute.

Among other outlets, the ad content is running on the Bloomberg cable TV channel and  terminals, the Golf and Tennis channels, Barron’s, Plan Sponsor, Pensions & Investments, the Economist, Harvard Business Review and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Another round of media buys will take place in June and July, with expansion into Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. A follow-on, two-month campaign will begin in September.

The institute plans two to three media runs every year, Clift said. “It’s new, it’s big and it’s intended to be multiyear.”

Clift declined to specify the ad budget other than it’s a “large, single-digit, multimillion-dollar investment.”

Funding comes from operating funds, unlike the CFP Board’s advertising program that is partly funded by a surcharge on CFP holders.

That fee caused some flack among CFPs when the program launched in 2011, but the board’s signature “disc jockey” campaign has caught on.
“I’d rate [the CFP campaign] highly for its consistency of messaging over the years,” Clift said.

(The CFP Board said the unaided awareness of the CFP certification among its mass affluent target audience has doubled to 34 percent since the campaign began.)

Like the CFP spots, the CFA Institute is targeting investors in the U.S. and Canada, where about a third of CFA holders work with individual investors.

“We’re aiming a little higher up the investable asset level” than the CFP Board, Clift said. “We’re not trying to compete with them directly with that target audience, [but] we want to promote the CFA equally as strongly as they have represented the CFP.”

Outside of North America, the focus is on promoting the CFA mark within the money management and analyst communities.

The Institute wants to “influence the establishment of an investment management profession,” Clift adds, and “persuade investment firms when they’re hiring to demand CFAs.”