Advertising is one industry in which creativity pays. It is one asset that never depreciates. Creativity cannot be learnt, and education cannot guarantee creativity. Education has got little to do with creativity, even if not none. In most cases, there is a possibility of education hindering creativity by forcing students to think alike. So it takes a lot more than educational qualifications to land on a creative job. Most companies prefer graduates specializing in advertising, business studies, marketing and psychology, but that would only get you half way through. Here are some other factors that a creative employer would seek in you.
Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes:
The ultimate goal of any advertising is to sell the advertised stuff. To sell, you need to convince the buyer that what you offer can actually make things better. To arrive at the perfect pitch, you need to think backwards, starting with the problem the buyer has, and how your product is solving it differently than the competitors’. You should think the way the buyer with that problem would think. A little bit of empathy helps.
Prior experience is always an advantage but in case you are a new art director or copywriter, then you certainly need a portfolio that does the talking. You could even cook up scenarios for which you have developed advertising solutions, and portray them on your portfolio. Speculative ads (spec ads) are a great way for budding advertisers, especially to compensate for the experience.
Once you have made up your mind that advertising is where your heart lies, you should keep yourself updated in the business and trends as much as you can. The best means of attaining this treasure trove of knowledge is to read leading advertising magazines. Their content is freely available online. Account, creative or production; whichever one you choose, read everything so that you understand how an advertising agency works on the whole, and not just your portion of it.
Most connections are formed online, where there is much seeking going on both ways; employers and employees are looking for associations online. So join these online communities that are related to your area of interest and expertise.
The more you interact and share knowledge, the more you noticed you get. Keep meeting people, and keep improving your pitch. Getting out there and meeting a large variety of people could also hone your psychoanalytic skills, which is surely bound to guide you in designing a compelling advertisement campaign.
Advertise Yourself. If you’ve got talent, then it should be all right to subtly blow your own trumpet. In advertising, there is always room for the bright minds, and there are countless resources nowadays that allow you to send the word out about you; social media, blogs and websites.
A creative job at an advertising company could be more challenging if it is your first job. So a creative portfolio and the right attitude could get you in. What experience do you have with advertising companies? Share with us your findings.