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Career in Advertising

Introduction

Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising. – Mark Twain

Advertising is the art of conveying a message to the masses. Advertisements generally persuade people about commercial products, services and even draw attention towards social issues. Advertising is one of the chief divisions of any industry that ensures the industry’s competitiveness in the corporate milieu. Indian advertising industry is on a roll and is all set to provide quality job to thousands of individuals in next few years.

A career in advertising is a lucrative employment option that one can choose in the rapidly growing Indian economy. Advertising agencies generally prefer highly creative and talented individuals who can think independently and at the same time work as excellent team players. If you are interested in pursuing a career in advertising, you must be highly target oriented and willing to work in a pressure cooker like environment. Since this industry is very competitive, you must be willing to give your best at all times to make a successful career.

Step-by-step

Advertising firms employ people with different educational backgrounds in various departments at various levels. Possessing a professional Degree or Diploma in a particular field of study can give you a head start in this industry. Further, flair for language and excellent communication skills are other factors essential for breaking into the realm of the advertising business.

To get into a specific department of an advertisement agency, you could choose from the following courses:

1.    Client Servicing: A post graduate diploma or an MBA in marketing
2.    Studio: Course in commercial art or fine arts (BFA or MFA)
3.    Media: Journalism, Mass Communication or an MBA
4.    Finance: CA, ICWA, MBA (Finance)
5.    Films: Specialisation in audio visuals
6.    Production: A course in printing and pre – press processes.

The best way to get into this field after a course is to get on- the- job training. All good institutions offer internship as part of the curriculum.

Start early

The first and the foremost requisite to take up a position in advertising world is to have a creative spark in one’s life. This creativity can be in any form, be it in language, communication skills, drawing, innovative thinking, and so on.

Eligibility for most of the advertising postgraduate courses is graduation in any discipline with a minimum of 50 percent marks. Admission to most of these courses is based on an entrance exam and/or interview. Some institutions also offer graduate level courses in advertising, for which they admit students who have cleared class XII.

Is it the right career for me?

If you are enthusiastic, naturally driven, creative, optimistic, and have the ability to multi task then advertising is the best career option for you. People skills are a vital requirement for this career as it makes one understand what a client needs and also helps in effective decision making. An institution running advertising related courses can help train and develop students to pick up traits such as:

1. Effective communication
2. Presentation and management
3. Team and leadership skills
4. Stress and pressure management
5. Persuasiveness
6. Confidence
7. Competitiveness

Various domestic and multinational companies in India certainly need highly qualified and experienced manpower for advertising. However, individual creativity and capability for innovation any day counts more than academic degrees in this fast paced business.

What would it cost me

Studying at institutes such as the MICA (Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad) could cost you up to Rs.1 lakh per year. But at government and some other private institutions, the fee is much lower.

Funding/Scholarship

Earning a scholarship may be a difficult task.  In most cases, scholarships are awarded to applicants on the basis of excellent academic performances.

Job prospect

Job opportunities in advertising include openings in private advertising agencies; advertising departments of private and public sector companies. Job seekers can also find openings in newspapers, journals, magazines; commercial section of radio or television; market research organizations and so on. One can also work as a freelancer.

Advertising manager, sales manager, public relations director, creative director, copy writer, and marketing communications manager are some of the major job opportunities in this field.

Pay packet

Pay Structure can vary from one agency to another depending on the 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.

Salary is generally not a constraint for the suitable candidate in this industry. This will, of course, depend on the individual's merit, qualifications, and experience. As a beginner, you get to do the basic stuff but experience enables you to negotiate deals.

You can easily get into an agency at the lowest levels but sheer quality is demanded as you move up the ladder. However, the pay packets get heavier and heavier as the workload and level of experience rises. A beginner in the creative department usually starts with an average monthly salary of 8 to 15 thousand rupees.

Demand and supply

There is ample scope for talented individuals in the advertising industry  in India. Those who are qualified in commercial art have great opportunities. MBAs can also play a significant role in client servicing. The advertising industry always has a perennial demand for creative talent. In order to succeed in the advertising arena, one has to have proficiency that is accompanied with varied talents.

Market watch

The Indian economy is on the move in spite of the global financial meltdown and the ad market is on a continuous trail of expansion. Growth in businesses has lead to a consecutive boom in the advertising industry as well.
 
Advertising in India is quite superior and the local talent boasts of high production values with interesting ideas and concepts. All this has made India a desirable hub for recruiters within the country as well as internationally.

International focus

The global impact of the Indian aptitude with respect to the advertising industry is not only being noticed but appreciated worldwide. Indian agencies today handle both national and international assignments. This is primarily because of the reason that the industry offers a host of functions to its clients. Some of the offerings include end-to-end solutions that consist of client media planning, servicing, media buying, pre and post campaign analysis, creative conceptualization, market research, marketing, public relation services, and branding. With all these services, there is definitely no looking back for the Indian advertising industry that is all set to win accolades worldwide.

Positives/Negatives

+ives

• Challenging and satisfying job
• Hefty growth prospects that are one of the best in the country
• Heavy pay packets with dollops of project related incentives
• Chances of meeting the legends of advertising

-ives

• An industry that is known for its extremely long working hours
• High pressure and stress inducing work environment

 

Different roles, different names

Advertising field offers a range of lucrative and interesting careers. The job in this field is categorised into two broad categories, namely, Executive and Creative.

Executive: The executive side includes: Client Servicing, Market Research and Media Research.

The executive department understands client requirements, seeks new business opportunities and retains existing business. This department also selects the appropriate media, analyses timing and placement of advertisements, and negotiates the financial aspects of a business deal.

Creative: The creative team comprises of copywriters, scriptwriters, visualizers, creative directors, photographers, typographers, animators, and so on. The creative department creates the actual advertisement in different media formats. They verbalize and visualize the specific need of the client.

Since ads are of different kinds depending on the media- print (newspapers, magazines, billboards,etc) and broadcast(radio, television and the internet), you can choose the area of specialisation depending on your interest.

Top companies

Some of the giants in advertising and media planning that most students dream of working with are as follows:

Hindustan Thomson Associates (HTA), McCann Erickson, Leo Burnett, Grey, R K Swamy - BBDO, Bates, Redifussion Dy and R, Lintas India Ltd., Ogilvy & Mather Ltd., and Mudra Communications Ltd..

Tips for getting hired

1. For many people interested in a career in advertising or public relations, internships are the key to unlocking the door to the industry.

2. The advertising industry has a voracious appetite for creativity and innovative thinking. Though the industry is said to be in its infant stage as compared to the western world it has been receptive to the changing times.

3. Excellent communication skills along with a specialisation in your field of study from a reputed institution give you a cutting edge over fellow job seekers in this industry.

Institutes to watch out for

1.    Indian Institute Of Mass Communication, Aruna Asaf Marg, JNU, New Campus, New Delhi - 110 067 URL : www.iimc.nic.in
2.    Mudra Institute Of Communications (MICA), Shela, Ahmedabad - 380 007, Gujarat URL: www.mica-india.net
3.    Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, V.L.Mehta Road, Vile Parle(West), Mumbai - 400 056, Maharashtra URL: www.nmims.edu
4.    Xavier's Institute Of Communication, St. Xavier's College , 5, Mahapalika Marg, Mumbai - 400 001 , Maharashtra URL: www.xaviercomm.org
5.    Symbiosis Institiute of Media and Communication, Pune URL: www.simc.edu

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