For professionals held in such high regard, architects have one of the least understood jobs in America. But a new ad campaign looks to resolve that issue by promoting who architects are and why they’re so important.
This campaign, which has never happened before, is a three-year effort by the American Institute of Architects. And because there is so little that’s known, it’s a perfect opportunity to design the brand from the ground up.
Architects Enjoy Prestige, but They’re Also Mysterious
According to a recent Harris Poll on occupational prestige, architects rank high, at 62 percent. Further, the majority of parents (88 percent) would encourage their kids to pursue architecture as a profession.
But prestige doesn’t equal understanding. We might not know what our physicians know, but we have a general idea of what they do. The same can’t be said for architects. This new ad campaign, created by Purpose Institute, looks to broaden understanding and promote the profession.
Purpose Institute Creates an Image
Purpose Institute is a brand consultancy group that’s worked with names such as Walmart and Whole Foods, according to AdWeek. Their goal is to help potential clients of for-profit brands understand what those brands do, and the value that they bring.
The ad campaign, which AdWeek says is a first in the 157-year history of the American Institute of Architects, begins with a 30-second spot that’s set to run through April 20 2015.
The AIA Wants to Design Perception
It’s clear that the American public reveres architects, as they have a strong presence in popular culture. But it’s also clear that most people don’t understand why they’re so important. Robert Ivy, AIA president, told AdWeek that “The time is right to change the perception.”
The classic image (Think of Dad Brady on the Brady Bunch) is often of a professional with a large roll of drawings in a tube, or toiling away at a drafting table with some mysterious building project. Modern professionals use AutoCAD, of course, but that’s still only a fraction of the day in the life of an architect. There’s so much more to know.
The Campaign Asks Viewers to Look Up
The ads created by Purpose Institute and the AIA have a “Look Up” theme that’s aligned with what many people imagine when they think of architecture: Tall buildings. Architects “look up to look ahead,” the narrator explains.
Looking up is also a nod toward paying attention to surroundings, says AdWeek. Sidewalks, buildings, and whole communities were designed by architects. The things everyone takes for granted were carefully planned and designed by those mysterious people.
If the public looks up, and away from smartphones and other distractions, it’s all there to see. It was there all the time, but these ads connect the dots that help pull it together. The AIA campaign covers video, print ads, and will move into social media by the summer of 2015.
Part of the mystery that the general public doesn’t know is that licensure and AIA membership require professional development hours. PDH Academy offers what you need in a convenient online format. Check out our courses before your next PDH requirements are due.