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To Study Or Not To To Study Or Not To Study Advertising Advertising

Posted on October 24, 2002 and read 11,770 times

To Study Or Not To To Study Or Not To Study Advertising Advertising thumbnail

Ask any Creative Director what they did before they got in advertising and they will tell you, “plumber”, “engineer”, and “wandering the world”. Sadly, for those trying to break into the glamorous world of advertising, the golden path to the agencies is full of incongruities and questions, and on it, lie the bones and remains of those trying to go in and those who tried, as in ‘past tense’.

The rise of advertising and design programs in places like the International Academy and George Brown College are not a sign that this is the right and only way in. Agencies seeking creatives are seeking exactly that: creatives. As one of my teachers, Dale Roberts from Axmith McIntyre Wicht Ltd says, “it doesn’t mater if you come from ad school or crawl out of a manhole, the only thing that matters is the portfolio.”

So should we all quit, start smoking pot and wearing our pants backwards before we step into MacLaren McCann to ask for a job all in the name of ‘creativity’?

The answer is no. The increase in design and ad programs at colleges does not indicate that it is a requirement for recruiters, but on the contrary, that more and more people want to work in advertising, so many—that they realized it would be economically viable to ‘educate’ Gen X in the creative business.

In economic theory this is referred to as a supply surplus, it lowers the price of a product (our salaries), and it gives more power to the purchaser (agencies). In economies like these, the only way to survive is to be better and increase quality and productivity (yourself).

I have been an ad intern and I’ve also gone to ad school. Any difference? I learned a lot when I was working about what I would be able to do in advertising. I figured out that I was good working with the entire creative process and as a result I have focused my education into improving that specific task. Some people think that you learn a lot working and I agree, but people don’t have time to teach you while they work, so if you want to learn how to create award-winning ads, working as an intern might not be the solution. Like playing a piano, some people can play without ever taking a lesson in their lives, but after years of playing they reach the point where they cannot move on, where lack of theory halts the piano player’s imagination and creativity and his/her songs begin to sound all the same. Educating yourself in advertising will not hamper you future; it will only improve your chances (but not guarantee them!).

What I have benefited most from studying advertising is sitting in front of real hard-core advertising professionals and be able to pick their brain, examine them, and obtain their advice. These are people who have already swam the English Channel of advertising. They are already on the other side, and they can help you find the right current to get to the right agency. The only other time you will meet an advertiser will most likely be in an interview while your hands sweat, and you are saying “uh hi eh uhmmm”.

The second most important benefit I have gained from studying advertising is TIME. Two years to fill white pages full of crazy ideas, client-free, break every single advertising law, target irrelevant target markets and make mockeries of competing products. No limits, go crazy, and see how far your mind can go. Time is gold.

“Studying” advertising is clearly not a requirement for agencies, but you must consider whether or not it will improve your portfolio, give you time to mature your creative potential.


Ignacio Oreamuno
President
ihaveanidea






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