Advertising has recently become a popular career choice thanks to its (mostly inaccurate) portrayal in popular culture. In this two-part blog post, we attempt to debunk the myths that have been surrounding the profession for decades.
1- Ad professionals are swanky/sleazy drunks who don’t actually get any work done
Thanks to the popular television show Mad Men, many folks believe advertising is an industry notorious for excessive booze consumption and the occasional office fling. While it’s not uncommon for today’s advertising agencies to keep a liquor stockpile in the office, at the end of the day there’s still important work to be done, and responsible employees sip at their own discretion. Don’t get us wrong though, we love the occasional mimosa meeting to aid in the creative process. Check out this study by the University of Illinois at Chicago that suggests drinking a bit of alcohol can help stimulate creative problem solving.
2- The ad industry is a deceitful profession, only trying to sell you stuff you don’t need
We get that the effects of advertising can be very powerful. The ad industry has gotten a lot of flack due to many people associating the act of selling something with deceit and manipulation. Professional ad agencies adhere to ethical standards and would never allow a client’s reputation to be cast in a negative light. Most respectable agencies have a very systematic way of approaching a project. This method usually involves designating time and resources to developing precise strategies that will not only connect with consumers but also ensure the best outcome for the client.
3- Advertising is the same as PR
While there are some similarities between the two, Advertising and Public Relations are NOT one and the same. Though both professions target their messages to a specific audience and aim to raise awareness, there are several differences between the two fields. One major difference is paid space versus free coverage. With that in mind, the client has guaranteed placement with Advertising, but with Public Relations, a third party must be persuaded to publish content and it is not always guaranteed. Control is another big difference, as with Public Relations the amount of control and decision-making a client has is much more limited than with Advertising.
4- Print is dead/the future of advertising is purely digital
With the rise of technological advancements and the accessibility of digital media, it’s easy to see why so many people believe print is becoming obsolete. Even in today’s digitally obsessed world, there are considerable advantages to print media. The fact that print is tangible allows publications to remain in homes for weeks, months, or even years. Consumers are also likely to stay more engaged with printed matter and are less likely to be multitasking as they would be while viewing material on a phone or tablet. Perhaps one of the greatest things about print media is its’ ability to successfully reach smaller, niche audiences.
5- Advertising is a glamorous career
Do you often picture advertising agencies to be full of beautiful people in swanky, modern offices exchanging witty banter? Do they also take three martini lunches a day, rub elbows with celebrities, and work on Madison Avenue? We hate to burst your bubble, but advertising isn’t as glamorous as it looks on TV (although our creative department is quite an attractive group). While every agency has its own unique workplace culture, today’s agency climate is a little more casual as far as dress codes and office decor goes. A typical day will vary, but the environment can often become high-pressure, full of short deadlines, last minute meetings, and late nights working on multiple projects. But with those challenges comes great opportunities for learning, potential for growth, and the chance to do something great. This fast-paced industry isn’t for everyone, but to us it is extremely rewarding.
Check back later to see the rest of our debunked advertising myths on part two of Ad Industry Misconceptions.