New ‘Take the Lead’ campaign launched as part of Project 2020’s integrated marketing campaign

Image: TakeTheLead2020 2016

Written by: kyliedicksondeakin

In line with International Women’s Day, on March 8, TBWA an international advertising agency released the powerful and emotional video – Take The Lead – the video is part of their Project2020 integrated marketing campaign (IMC) that focuses on gender equality in the workplace.  

What is Project2020?

Launched in June 2015, Project2020 is TBWA’s network wide initiate that aims to reach an equal representation of woman in leadership roles across the networks departments and offices (TakeTheLead2020 2016, para. 1).

The introduction of TakeTheLead2020

‘TakeTheLead2020’ was born as a result of evaluation of Project2020, and has now been integrated into the campaign. Possibly through delayed Copy Testing or Concept Testing it was found that as Project2020 was unravelling men were not as engaged,  ‘as long as women’s issues remain women’s issues, only women will care’ (TakeTheLead2020 2016, para. 2). In an effort to make gender equality everybody’s issue, TBWA surveyed women globally about their advertising careers, quotes from these survey’s were paired with males in the industry to produce a series of very powerful and emotion provoking messages.

The TakeTheLead2020 video can be viewed below (‪Take The Lead 20\20 2016)

What are the campaign goals for Project2020?

Setting a clear campaign goal is an integral part of IMC’s. Campaign goals should influence one or more of the below three areas:

  • Cognition – focuses on increasing knowledge and awareness
  • Affect – increases attitudes and positive associations towards the brand
  • Behaviour – encourages positive behaviour towards the brand

(Iacobucci 2013, p. 147)

Campaign goals can change according to the product lifecycle stage. Project2020 has an overarching goal to increase women’s leadership roles within their network. The targeted IMC aims to influence all three areas of their audience. Firstly, Cognition is influenced by providing information about women’s experiences, the emotion provoking delivery of the message influences Affect, while the use of men delivering the message and the tag line “women issues are everyone’s issues’ aims to influence behaviour.

Who is the target audience for Project2020?

An essential part of an integrated marketing campaign is knowing the target audience. This enables the appropriate key messages and media channels to be used to ensure the correct messages are received by the correct audience.

In Project2020’s case the target audience is their network of staff, including executives, managers and the employees at TBWA. However by promoting change at TBWA, and with the far reach of social media, the campaign would also hope to influence the advertising industry and other professional industries worldwide.

Campaigns Media Channels

When considering the correct media channels for a campaign, the required reach and frequency of your message should be strong considerations (Kreshel, Lancaster & Toomey 1985, p. 32).

It is also important to integrate your channels and enable channels to complement each other. Advertising in a consistent and complimentary manner with two or more channels can increase the impact (Iacobucci 2013, p. 162). Project2020 has used a number of channels to deliver their campaign messages, these include: video, social media and posters as well as compliment workshops, events, mentorship programs and speakers.

An example of the TakeTheLead Campaign posters is below (TakeTheLead2020 2016):

Poster Example

The Campaign Schedule

Project2020 is a 5 year campaign. Initially launched in 2015, the campaign measure will be assessed in 2020. Five years is a long time to maintain momentum and keep your audience engaged. The strategic timing of the launch of the TakeTheLead video in line with International Women’s Day has enabled the campaign to leverage off this internationally recognised day.

How will we know if Project2020 has been effective?

How do we know if any campaign has really been successful? It’s hard to know if we don’t have a measure in place! Reinold and Tropp (2012, p. 114) explain that previously the focus of IMC’s has been on the execution, however one ultimate goal of a campaign is to produce a measurable result for an organisation.

For Project2020, it has been said that TBWA has a measure to reach a 20% increase in women’s leadership roles by 2020 (Creativity Online 2016, para. 5). By having this specific measure, the campaign can be measured for it’s effectiveness.


What are your thoughts on the TakeTheLead campaign? Do you think the campaign will effectively influence attitudes and behaviour? Do you think the message is more powerful being delivered by male counterparts?


Jardine, A 2016, Lee Clow and Other TBWA Men Explain What It’s Like to Be a Woman in Advertising, Creativity Online, retrieved 26 April 2016,

TakeTheLead2020, On International Women’s Day, TBWA further commits to “Take the Lead” on gender equality in the workplace, TBWA, retrieved 26 April 2016,

Take The Lead 20\20 2016, YouTube, TWBA, 7 March 2016, retrieved 26 April 2016,

Iacobucci, D 2013, MM4, Mason, Ohio : South-Western ; Andover : Cengage Learning [distributor], [2013] Student edition with package.

Kreshel, PJ, Lancaster, KM & Toomey, MA 1985, ‘HOW LEADING ADVERTISING AGENCIES PERCEIVE EFFECTIVE REACH AND FREQUENCY’, Journal of Advertising, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 32-51.

Reinold, T & Tropp, J 2012, ‘Integrated marketing communications: How can we measure its effectiveness?’, Journal of Marketing Communications, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 113-32.



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