Advertising is the means of informing as well as influencing the general public to buy products or services through visual or oral messages. A product or service is advertised to create an awareness in the minds of potential buyers. Some of the commonly used media for advertising are T.V., radio, websites, newspapers, magazines, bill-boards, hoardings etc. As a result of economic liberalization and the changing social trends advertising industry has shown rapid growth in the last decade.
Advertising is one of the aspects of mass communication. Advertising is actually brand-building through effective communication and is essentially a service industry. It helps to create demand, promote marketing system and boost economic growth. Thus advertising forms the basis of marketing.
Advertising plays a significant role in today's highly competitive world. A career in advertisement is quite glamourous and at the same time challenging with more and more agencies opening up every day. Whether it's brands, companies, personalities or even voluntary or religious organizations, all of them use some form of advertising in order to be able to communicate with the target audience. The salary structure in advertising is quite high and if you have the knack for it one can reach the top. It is an ideal profession for a creative individual who can handle work-pressure.
Today, new areas are emerging within advertising like event management, image management, internet marketing etc. Event management wherein events are marketed, Image management wherein a a particular profile of an individual or an organisation is projected. Internet marketing has also brought about a lot of changes in advertising as Internet means that one is catering to a select group of audience rather than a mass audience.
Educational: Most advertising agencies recruit candidates with a formal management or advertising/mass communication qualification. Preference is given for MBA's for posts in the market research, client servicing and media planning departments.
In the creative department, on the other hand, a general BA with a command of the language of communication plus knowledge of designing packages like Photoshop, coral draw or fine arts is the requirement.
There are also specialised courses in advertising/mass communication at diploma level and post graduate level for which basic qualification is graduation. However, advertising is also offered as a subject for the graduate degree course in mass communication studies at certain institutions for which minimum qualification is 10+2. In addition there are also certificate courses for which 10+2 is enough.
Personal attributes: Basic qualities like creativity and flair for writing or ability to translate ideas into a visual format are required for making a successful career in this field. They should have insight into the interests of people from all walks of life, ability to work as part of team, mental and physical toughness to be able to withstand high pressure and criticism, must be sociable and have calm temperament. Market and media researchers should have an analytical and logical brain. Those in creative field should possess artistic abilities to make the ad appealing to the masses.
Career opportunities in advertising include openings in private advertising agencies; advertising department in private or public sector companies; in advertising sections of newspapers, journals, magazines; commercial section of radio or television; market research organisations etc. One can also do freelancing.
Advertising field offers a range of lucrative, interesting careers. The job in this field is categorised into two, executive and creative. Executive side include Client Servicing, Market Research and Media Research. Creative side consist of copywriters, scriptwriters, visualisers, photographers and typographers.
The executive department understand client needs, find new business and retain existing business, selects the appropriate media, analyses timing and placement of advertisements and negotiate the financial aspects of the deal. Creative department creates the advertisement copy. They verbalises and visualises the specific need of the client.
As ad films are also a part of film making career options of film are related to this field.
The Client Servicing department is the link between the client and the agency. It is an important part of any advertising firm like what the heart is to the body. This department is responsible for meeting prospective clients and getting business for the company. It involves a study of the client, the product and the market; an analysis of consumer behaviour and marketing; a knowledge of all available media and their cost effectiveness, and a strategic plan to be presented to the client. Those in client servicing must therefore interact with clients, gather information, oversee research where necessary, gauge consumer attitudes and based on this, work along with the various departments of the agency to formulate the most appropriate and effective advertising strategy within the specified budget.
To be an effective client-servicing person, the candidate has to have a thorough knowledge of the client's business and also know his weak points so that, through advertising and communications, the gap can be minimised.
An accounts executive who works in the client servicing department takes care of all the monitory dealings. He should know the most effective way to advertise clients product or service i.e the media and their cost effectiveness. Account executives should also have an idea about market research and target audiences.
Every good ad plans, start with research. This is the department which surveys the market and analyses and studies consumer behavior about a product or service. They are involved with collection of data- information about the consumer, the market, existing competition and so on. The research studies provide basic information to the manufacturer, for planning a new product.
If you are a MBA or hold a degree in statistics/operations research, you can go for market researching jobs.
Responsibility of media planning department starts at the point when the ad is complete. Media Department is responsible for the planning, scheduling, booking and purchase of space and time (in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV, and outdoor hoardings). The media department must therefore devise the most effective use for an advertising budget to effectively and economically transmit a campaign message to the target audience. This department consists of the following:
Media Planners who decide the different media where the ads would be featured in order to get maximum viewership.
Media Buyer has to negotiate to buy space in the Press, or time on electronic media at the best rates for which he has to understand the buying as well as selling trends.
The Creative department designs and conceptualizes the advertisement. This consist of copywriting department and art department. Copywriting department works on text for the ad and themes for campaign. Art department visualises the campaign.
The Copywriter evolves a theme for the campaign and provides the text for advertisements. He is responsible for making the ad look attractive and delivering the message to the point. They work out the campaign slogan, jingles, scripts and promotional literature of the product or service as well as proposals, concept notes and film treatments. They are also expected to edit all textual matter for factual, syntax and typesetting discrepancies before it goes into production. Some times specialists called Typographers are appointed for making the format of textual matter who give advise on fonts, lettering etc.
Copywriters need to have a flair for writing backed up by the knowledge of advertising and oral communication skills, to become successful. They also need to have skill in analysing clients' needs, and research skills for finding out about the products and services they are helping to sell. Problem-solving and time-management skills are important.
The Visualisers work on the visual concepts and decide how the ad shall eventually look. They do the overall layout of message including graphics, sketching etc.
Must be artistic. A degree/diploma in commercial arts or fine arts as well as the knowledge of designing software like Photoshop, Pagemaker, Corel Draw etc. are often the required qualifications.
Photographers should have an idea about angles and lighting effects. Good technical ability and knowledge of cameras and lenses is essential.
Job positions and earnings in an agency vary with its size and turnover. Accredited agencies have a large set up while small agencies may have just a handful of employees looking after all the various jobs. The earnings range from 7,000 for production mangers to 8,000 for copy writers up to 35,000 for General Managers plus perks.