“So what do you do?” Glimpses in Advertising

Ahhh advertising. Either you love it or you hate it. As a generation of in-touch people, advertising has worked so hard to stay relevant in a sea of you-choose-the-music radio station apps, social Newsfeeds cluttered with self-promotion and up-and-coming bloggers (hey hey!), and DVR ad-skipping capabilities.

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So why would anyone want to work in advertising? It’s a slowly dying medium, right?

Nope. Advertising is so much more than TV commercials. It’s more than banner ads you see pop up on your blogs and websites. The art of advertising is creating an emotional connection.

Think about the products you own and love. Why did you buy them? Why did you FIRST choose that brand? Maybe it wasn’t an ad you saw on TV, but was it a blog post you read and enjoyed? Was it a recommendation from a friend? Was it an event you went to and tried sampling? Was it a Pinterest pin you found, clicked and bought?

Think that’s not advertising? You’re wrong. Everything stated above is a form of advertising.

And that’s why I love it. I genuinely ENJOY finding ways to connect with people in everyday life. And as our lives change and technology changes, so does our thinking – that’s a FUN challenge worth pursuing, in my opinion.

People often ask me about what it’s like to work in advertising. “What’s a creative?” “What does Account Management do?” “Do you guys really just drink all day?”

Here’s a glimpse into some of the personalities and life at an advertising agency.

Agencies are like families: We’re more than just coworkers, we’re friends. We’ll fight for each other and probably fight with each other. But it’s because we’re passionate about what we do. We’ll stay up until 3 AM to get a project done for a 9 AM presentation and despite moments of tension from a lack of sleep, we’ll probably make hilarious memories that we’ll continue to laugh about over a beer later down the road.

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My old team at my previous advertising agency just before I left for Houston. These aren’t just co-workers, they’re life-long friends.

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My Houston Family – despite moving back to STL, we all still keep in touch!

Account Management: The liaisons, the gatekeepers, the mediators.

Account Management is no easy task. Sure, we have more of the organizational responsibilities at an agency, but we get to be creative in different ways.

As an Account Manager, I have the challenge of finding the best way to advocate for my client AND my agency. Believe me, opinions may differ greatly when it comes to projects and programs, but I get to be Switzerland! (Or at least try my hardest to be…)

Think of us as the mediators during situations when we, as the agency, might want to think outside of the box and the client may not be able to. Or when the client’s budget is tight and the creatives’ thinking is big. How can we make everyone happy? That’s our goal.

We often have to place our minds in 50 different places at once. What do I mean? We have to think about what the client’s current goals are and their future business goals and ensure these are answered while exploring creative. We have to think about the multiple projects going on at one time plus the firedrill that just came through the door. We have to think about the budgets we’ve been given and keep track of progress.

Why do I love being in Account Service? Because of the relationships I get to build. I get to have one-on-one contact with my clients – those who are trying to make their brand come to life for their target audience. But I also get to work directly with extremely talented creative minds on the agency-side of the business. I get to participate in brainstorms and lead creative reviews with our designers and writers make the ideas come to life.

My days are always different, and I absolutely LOVE it.

Creative: The visionaries – the artists. 

I was once advised that “Creative” doesn’t just mean design, but that’s usually what people think of when they think of Creative in advertising. Creative stands for those with the talent to see their ideas and expressions become tangible things. This group includes strategists, writers, designers, community managers, experiential event managers, PR managers and developers (sorry for anyone I’m forgetting).

Creatives are the folk who take the direction for a simple direct mail postcard and turn it into a 3D brochure that someone wants to keep at their desk. Or, they take the client’s ask of, “make DIY Plumbing Tips interesting,” and come up with insanely funny YouTube videos that are worth sharing and bookmarking. Sometimes they’re challenged with creating an event that consumers WANT to come to (think Bud Light’s Whatever, USA).

Creative teams are rarely satisfied with the status quo and are always seeking opportunities to interject art and their brands into everyday life. They work hard, and often long hours, to see their creative vision through to the end. They’re always thinking a step ahead about how they can transform a brand into something personal to the end-user.

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I had the pleasure of working on Costa Farms’ “Tropic Escape” product line. It started with a brand name, a logo, and evolved into product packaging. Why do I do what I do? Because I love seeing the end product in someone’s hands. I love seeing the product come to LIFE. Like this sweet lady who let me take her photo with the “Tropic Escape Mandevilla” while waiting in line at our local Lowe’s. 

Media: Who sees what and when? 

Media Strategists, Planners and Buyers are at at the pulse of the target’s activities. They know who is consuming what, where and when (sounds creepy, but they’re SO important). They are the force that connects brands to the consumers. Sometimes this means a multi-million dollar TV and Radio campaign. Other times it’s as simple as a month-long social media plan that connects brands in a very niche area of a major metropolitan with very specific targets.

These folk do their research. They’re constantly in touch with media outlets to understand new advertising forms and capabilities so that our clients can best reach their audience.

 

So why advertising? Hopefully this give you a glimpse into what we do and why we do it. If not, let’s talk more over a beer, because lord knows agency folk like drinking.

XO

 

 

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