Advertising is about the client, not the creative.
When I first began my internship, I thought I was going to be putting out the most creative and inspiring advertising ideas ever created.
I was wrong and my first week at the agency was a rude awakening. I soon realized that there isn’t much glamour in the beginning of an advertising career.
Don’t get me wrong, I worked on a variety of projects that allowed me to explore my creative imagination and I loved it, but I soon found out that it doesn’t matter what I want the message to be. What matters is what the client wants since they’re footing the bill.
So I’ve had to learn to restrict my creative imagination and soon learned that a lot of advertising is based on the client’s demands. The result ended up with me stripping down my awesome body copy to essentially what was the most boring and straightforward message ever delivered. This was a buzz-kill for me considering I thought I was going to be surrounding myself in a pool of creative ideas for each project I worked on.
The other thing they didn’t tell me in my advertising classes at the University of Oregon, is how much paperwork is involved in advertising. I quickly learned this as my agency had me handling a lot of the paperwork chores. Some of these paperwork chores can be creating As-Produced copy of advertisements so that the agency has a hard copy record of what the ad looked like. The other paperwork chore that I do is making sure that all the work orders and insertion orders come in and that all of the “I’s” are dotted and “T’s” are crossed.
I realize that most of these are trench work assignments and I’ll eventually work my way out of doing them, but I’m starting to see that it’s a good way to view how an advertising agency actually operates.