Monday, September 3, 2012

Advertising - Brain Behinds Campaigns

Enter the glamor world of advertising – broadly divided into client servicing and creative departments. An insight into what goes behind the making of those catchy jingles and billboards you come across

Advertising is a science, it has been described as the science of arresting human intelligence long enough to make money from it! Today it is one of the most competitive and glamorous careers in the country. Finding ways and means to sell products and services is big business. Advertising is often mistaken for being only a world of glitz and glamor with a totality absent work culture. But bringing out all those eminently hummable tunes or the memorable one-liners and scenes are certainly not easy. They are a part of a creative process quite beyond literal description. 

It is often said, “Creativity is an advertising agency’s most valuable asset, because it is the rarest.” Yet, what is this concept of ‘creativity? To learn more about this creative art, here we present some vital questions that unfold the know-how of advertising field and untapped the creative brain in you.

Creative pursuits

This Liril ad promoted Liril to a great height
Q: What is the role of a creative director in an advertising firm?

A: A creative director is the head of the creativity team in an ad agency. This team consists of the copywriters, scriptwriters, photographers, artists, designers, typographers and printers. This work is varied in nature as an agency may have a large number of clients. They have to keep in touch with the client servicing department as well because the instructions come from them and the ad is made accordingly.
A key definition of ‘creativity’ in advertising is the ability to come up with powerful concepts that are relevant and strikingly different enough to capture attention. Good creative work speaks for itself and needs no explanation. 

Q: As an associate creative director, what does the work entails?

A: The heart of any advertising agency is its creative team. Associate creative director gets the ‘brief’ from the client servicing people, who in turn keep in touch with the clients and provide constant feedbacks. Once the brief is received, the visualizers and the copywriters sit together to produce the ad and develop the concept, which will suit not only the product but also the company profile and image. This is the most important thing because the design and other visuals depend on this concept, while colour and layout show the character and the whole idea its real perspective. Since an associate creative director is in charge so he has to check this in terms of visuals, design and photography.

Famous "Lalita ji" ad
Q: How does one equip for a career in this field? What the educational qualifications and skills needed?

A: There are no ‘typical’ qualifications for a career in this field. But a degree in applied arts does help. One should be able to capture the essence of the product. A course in applier arts aims to develop individual creativity and practical skills in art and its appreciation. 

While high qualifications are not really essential, what is necessary is the right attitude to work, This profession demands an imagination and conceptual approach. Hard work coupled with imagination to assess a situation and conjure up images is vital to succeed. Often themes need to be adapted or even changed to suit cultures. Advertising for any product should strive to break out of the traditional mould, failing which the brand runs risk of losing its identity. 

Q: What are the attributes required?

A: An inquiring mind, a good sense of humor coupled with the ability to work hard are the buzzwords in this profession.

Q: Is this a nine-to-five job? And how is a normal workday like?

A: While every day is just like any other day, sometimes there is mad rush to meet deadlines as the final presentation date comes closer! A great deal of time usually spent getting the correct visuals or graphics, discussing the basic aspects of the product and the idea with the copywriter’s team. It is not an individual job but teamwork.

A controversial Reebok ad
Q: Which is the best? Art director or a copywriter?

A: It’s not the question of which is best and which is not. In a creative field, it’s not the choice but your talent that matters. You can’t graduate in March and proclaim that “I going to talk to agencies for an art director job, or copywriter job”. This is not the way things move in advertising field. Typically a copywriter works on the content of an ad and he/she must have a flair for creative writing. Imagination is common for both art director and copywriter, but an art director is more responsible in terms of coordinating things, banner length, color etc.

Q: Is portfolio important to land a job in an agency?

A: Definitely! A portfolio is not a mandatory stricture but it gives you the necessary impetus. To land a job in a good advertising agency, you must prepare your portfolio, showcasing all your imagination and thoughts. The portfolio also has to incorporate your previous work, any Little Magazine write-up or college work, published articles, verses or punch lines. For an aspiring art director, the portfolio is a visual gateway of your imagination, design capability and graphic sense. 

Creative ad
Show your best work, you can also prepare some imaginary campaigns or pick from the contemporary campaigns, determine the objective and interpret them. Don’t be shy of if your ads aren’t professional, nobody really expects a professional work from a newcomer. What matter is the enthusiasm and creative pursuit.

Q: How can one prepare for an interview?

A: Most good agencies, interviews are based on your casual interest and creative thinking.  Organize before your interviews; review your resume and cover letter to the agency. Don’t bluff anything, it would be fatal during interviews. Decide your USP that you articulately present before your interviewer, study the background of the agency and aware of current campaigns and breaking development in the advertising field.

Q: What’s the initial pay packet?

A: Pay structure varies from agency to agency depending on the size and reputation. A large set-up agency has a good pay packet and also the work is streamlined. In a small agency, handful of employees does everything. You will work more, but less paid. 

Advertising field in general is a lucrative field, though initially salary starts a bit low from 8K to 15K, but soon after couple of years of experience, you can earn anything between 50K and 100000K. 

Creative and social condom ad
Q: What is the flip side?

A: Sometimes it may take days to get that one good, elusive idea. And as the deadline approaches, one gets stressed out and tempers may flare. While effective advertising is that which sells, creating an ad that impact often takes loads of time and patience. This is not your usual nine to five job where you can actually leave the office on time! The pressure to create a ‘different’ ad every time may get toy sometimes. 

Related Links For Creating Advertising Portfolio

How to Create Killer Portfolio 

How to Make an Advertising Portfolio

Books on Advertising

Buy Ogilvy On Advertising: I Hate Rules New ed Edition from



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