At King’s, we recently hosted a talk from one of the world’s biggest advertising, marketing and PR agencies, Ogilvy, who works with global clients such as British Airways, American Express, Louis Vuitton and Dove. Two of its London employees came to tell us what advertising careers are all about.
Advertising is a hugely varied industry, with everything from the numbers-driven data analyst to the ideas-generating creative. AdMission is a great place to start in terms of understanding some of the crucial job roles, which include:
- Account manager / client service: Negotiates the client brief and communicates this to other departments within the agency, and manages the interaction with the client.
- Strategic / account planner: Analyses data, trends and reports relevant to the client, and writes creative and media strategies based on these insights – which are used to brief the creative team.
- Media planner: Identifies target audience, analyses consumer behaviour and plans the framework for media channels to maximise the creative idea and connect with the consumer.
- Media buyer: Negotiates with media owners for best position, timing and price for campaign and analyses and reports back on campaign delivery.
- Creative (copywriters and art directors working together): Interprets client brief and develops and implements creative ideas, working closely with account managers and planners and overseeing production.
- Project manager: Overseas the project from start to finish, ensuring the campaign is on time and within budget and working with all departments involved.
- Digital: Coordinates online campaigns (above roles operate within digital).
In terms of getting into advertising, there is generally no requirement in terms of the graduate degree subject. For example, recruiters at Ogilvy are more interested in whether you come across as intelligent, interesting, and the kind of person they wouldn’t mind sitting next to on a long-haul flight.
An interesting point that one speaker raised was that before applying, she was sceptical about her chances of a successful application, on account of her background in English Literature. However, she now feels that the ability to create an effective narrative, honed during her degree, is one that she uses to get results in her current role as an account planner. Her message was that graduates should not dismiss the skills their background gives them, even if they don’t see a direct link with the workplace.
To impress in advertising, you’ll need to keep up to date with what’s happening in the industry – and a good way to do that is through Campaign, the industry’s leading online magazine. Also, take a look at this updated list of internships and graduate schemes.