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Anyone working in an Advertising Agency?Career advice needed

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rongbien
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Anyone working in an Advertising Agency?Career advice needed

Postby rongbien » Sun, 12 Sep 2010 10:35 am

Hi all,

I have been working in finance for one a a half year. The jobs that I had are not interesting at all. So I'm thinking of switching job. I read the book "Ogilvy on advertising" and feel very interested in being a copywriter. I also love interesting print ads, TV commercials or slogans. However, I don't know where to start, besides reading books. I also don't have any friend working in advertising industry so I have no one to ask.

Like how to enter the industry, without any experience before? I studied Business Management in uni, double major in Finance & Marketing. I did study Marketing before. However, all my internship & working experience has been in finance so far. I think maybe I should take on a professional cert or sthing like that. Do you have advice for me? Like how could I start to be a copywriter? What cert should I take? Or do you know any good advertising forum that I can ask? Any marketing or advertising networking club that I can join to know more about the people in the industry? Do you have any advice for me?

Is anyone working in advertising agency right now? Please share with me your personal story. Like how is your career in advertising start? What is it like to work in an ad agency? Tell me more, if it convenient for you... Thanks!

Rong biển - still desperate to find what I want :(


amarettoSour
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Postby amarettoSour » Mon, 20 Sep 2010 10:07 pm

I'm in advertising but i've just started out less than a year ago. I worked for one of the big ad agencies for about 7 months, then moved to a smaller british agency just two months ago.

I'm lucky because I've always kept a portfolio despite not having any formal design / art background. it really helps if you have an online portfolio even if the works you do are just for fun. when i decided to move to singapore last year i emailed any and every agency i could think of. also at the time i was very new to advertising, so i didn't even know what agencies are out there! these websites helped a lot and they actually are widely read by people in the industry: www.campaignasia.com and www.marketing-interactive.com. anyway, I directly emailed their HR, managing director, creative director... basically any higher executive I can find, even if they weren't hiring (their emails aren't always listed on their website but it's pretty easy to guess). I got two interviews that way and was hired by both. with my current job, i used twitter to ask them if they had any vacancy. they responded and i was hired.

Life in advertising is hectic especially for creatives (copywriter and art director). not one day is ever the same and you most likely won't leave the office earlier than 7pm no matter which agency you go to. the culture is amazing. people are always laid back, you can joke around and wear whatever the hell you want (unless you go to the suit side, then you'll have to dress up a little for client meetings). it also feels pretty damn good when you see your work displayed somewhere.

I'm not gonna lie though, it's also very challenging. i thought college was hard but I find that working in advertising is even harder and they don't exactly pay well at junior level, so you have to really love the work. your coworkers will always be talented, very creative and damn good at what they do (if not then they wouldn't be there). some people are really just naturally good at advertising, some worked hard for it. I'm not one of those people who are naturally good, and even though i'm already in the industry I can't say for sure that I "got" advertising.... but like i said, i'm just starting out.

hope that helps!

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Tue, 21 Sep 2010 6:11 am

And where can I actually see such creative ads made by the mentioned very creative and talented ppl? Sorry for kinda trolling.

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Postby morenangpinay » Tue, 21 Sep 2010 7:57 am

im wondering the same thing ? maybe the campaigns are overseas :???:

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Postby Addadude » Tue, 21 Sep 2010 9:01 am

x9200 wrote:And where can I actually see such creative ads made by the mentioned very creative and talented ppl? Sorry for kinda trolling.


You'll probably have to check the portfolio bag of the the dejected creative who's just come out of another sh!tty meeting with a client where all his/her work was rejected...

There was a discussion on this topic in this forum a couple of years ago. (The OP might find it interesting to read as well.)

ftopic50077.html

Here's a direct quotation from one of my contributions to that particular thread:

"Of course another part of the art (and probably the most important) is selling your magnificent creation to the client. And if any of you non-advertising people wonder why most of the ads you see in Singapore are crap, just sit in on almost any client presentation and you'll see exactly why. Clients don't buy pieces of art. They buy work that "sells". (Or work that they think sells.) And by golly, they want maximum return for their dollar invested. Every square centimetre of space in that full page ad in the papers has to SELL! (And you can't really blame them because it costs so much. When I started up a small coffeeshop with a couple of friends, I made sure that my ad had our logo and address as BIG as possible...)

This approval process becomes absolutely agonising when it comes to doing TV commercials. I think we all know what the average approval process is like in Singapore. When it comes to approving TV budgets and work, indecision is elevated to almost an artform. So I guarantee you that, if a good TVC comes out at the end of all that, it is the result of nothing short of heroic effort. "
"Both politicians and nappies need to be changed regularly, and for the same reasons."

amarettoSour
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Postby amarettoSour » Tue, 21 Sep 2010 11:22 pm

thanks for posting that threa,d Addadude. I definitely learned a lot from your response!

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Wed, 22 Sep 2010 8:53 am

Addadude, you have a very good point but still I found the post of amarettoSour too much glorifying the industry and likely too optimistic.

your coworkers will always be talented, very creative and damn good at what they do (if not then they wouldn't be there)


Well, firstly it is hard to believe that this struggle (here I am referring to Addadude) is so everywhere. That would be really strange to have always the creative talented ppl so they always have to fight to have their bright idea published and ultimately, judging by the results visible to the public, failing. It would be like they do not learn the lesson or something. I am not in the industry and please do not take it personal but I simply think majority of what is or could be seen is just a good workmanship and nothing more. So talented - likely yes, creative - doubtful, always - clearly not. This is a weakness inherent to some of industries that if they deal with subjects or types of the outcome reserved in the past for some artistic communities they thing they are also automatically artists.
Somebody posted here yesterday a link to his company portfolio as an answer to my post but the moderators got him :) I did not went through all the campaigned presented in their webpages but IMHO it was a very good example of a good workmanship. High standard product targeting mid or higher class, aesthetic, nice to watch but pretty typical so not really creative.

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Postby SGPierre » Sun, 26 Sep 2010 1:24 pm

Hi rongbien, I'm a Senior Copywriter who is also looking to make the switch to Singapore. I agree with Amaretto in that your 'passport' into an agency will always be your portfolio, even if it consists of rough ideas for any brands you can think of. You may see an ad and think "I can do better" so then come up with an idea and write or sketch it out.
If you're up for going back to school, why not try a portfolio school like Miami Ad School or others.
I don't know what the industry is like in SG but it is very competitive in other countries and as Amaretto said, the pay isn't great when you're starting off.
If you have a passion for advertising, go for it!


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