Working in Advertising

If you are creative and like to design and write, you might already have advertising in your list of top five career opportunities. Working in a major ad agency’s creative department may be a dream job but you may find you would rather work in a smaller ad agency, in-house agency, or even on your own.

You may end up working on a team and your creative personality will not only be valued, but it will also be relied upon every day. Even if your copy comes back with red marks all over it, you know that the Creative Director is counting on to write that advertisement.

If your design is marked up, you are the one that will need to make the changes to get the ad completed. When you think of advertising, you may automatically imagine a room full of creative people hammering out ideas into one solid ad campaign.

Copywriters, graphic designers, creative directors, art directors and other creative people do work together in these types of settings. However, there are plenty of other types of people involved in a successful ad campaign that don’t actually create the ads.

Account executives, traffic managers, media coordinators, media directors, researchers and other non-creatives work in the advertising industry. These people are just as important to a client’s ad campaign in making it successful, just as important as the creatives who develop the campaign’s concept.

Many of the non-creative positions in advertising work directly with the client. For example, an account executive is a liaison between the creative department and the client.

An account executive must work closely with both parites to make sure the client’s needs are being met along the way. People have lost their jobs over a failed ad campaign.

This is a great responsibility, when the campaign is a huge hit you share in the glory. On the other hand when the campaign is a flop, you also share in the bad times with your colleagues.

This high pressure environment isn’t for everyone though. Short deadlines, last minute changes and sitting in the boss’ office when it’s time to take the heat for an unsuccessful ad campaign, have caused many ad professionals to change careers.

Your work will pass through many eyes before the ad campaign is released and will undergo many changes. You may have written what you think to be your best copy but they may ask you to start over or do it again.

The client has very specific needs and a very specific vision about their company. You are part of a team creating the client’s ad campaign and you can take solace in the fact that pretty much everyone on that team is going to be asked to change at least one aspect of what they were working on.

You may be surprised by how many changes a simple print ad can go through before it reaches final approval. This holds true for even the major ad agencies with big name clients.

Working in this field is very rewarding but it does take a lot of work and a lot of long hours. If you enjoy being home by 6 p.m. to eat with your family every night and have season tickets to your college team’s football games every Saturday, you may want to weigh the value of your free time versus. your career time before you start working in advertising.

You may end up putting in a lot of days and nights that seem to run together. You will probably even have last minute changes that come up and your whole schedule has to be cleared in a moment’s notice.

Advertising salaries won’t make you rich overnight when you are just starting out. Full-time agency copywriters can start off in the low teens before working their way into $60,000 or more positions.

Full-time agency account executives can work their way into positions that pay close to $80,000. You will also find many seasoned pros making six figures in their accomplished careers.

About the author: Janice Spellman

Janice is a Marketing Consultant at Speadmark. She has helped many businesses in Richmond and Washington DC grow through traditional and digital marketing and branding, using strategies that attract, engage, and convert.

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