By Robin Spring
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Einstein may or may not have said this, but no matter. The saying encapsulates what I love about advertising. It’s zesty. It’s piquant. It’s energetic. Advertising integrates right brain, left brain thinking. Problem solving at its best. Advertising marries individual cogitation and radical collaboration. It’s art. It’s science. There are so many different types of jobs in advertising; it’s a playground of disciplines and skill sets. Creativity, research, analytics, ideation, project management, media, production, account management, leadership and more. No two days are the same. There is variety in the work and an array of spaces to work in: Ad agencies big and small, in-house corporate agencies, small businesses and organizations, media outlets, production houses and boutique specialty services. Advertising is always reinventing itself. In short, advertising is deliciously fun. And, it’s a form of communication that is always in demand.
But don’t take my word for it. Hear what ad pro, Lois Castillo, had to say about advertising at a recent Ad Club meeting. Lois is currently Director of Talent and Inclusion of High Dive Advertising – 2020 Ad Age Small Agency of the year – and formerly worked at the world renown powerhouse agency, Leo Burnett. Lois knows what she’s talking about.
Here, I’ll cherry pick and paraphrase some of the truth bombs Lois dropped on Ad Club recently:
- Advertising defines and shapes culture. It brings people joy.
- Good advertising is impactful and lives on.
- Global campaigns need a team that represents the world we live in.
- Excellence requires one to be an observer of life.
- Soak up culture through books, movies, podcasts, music, news, real life happenings.
- Pay attention to your Spidey senses. Pick up on trends and nuances.
- Distill your observations and tap into cultural insights.
- Know and use your Super Powers.
- Be a Storyteller. People love stories. Stories are universal truths told well.
- Advertising is creativity on demand. It’s a muscle. Keep working it.
- It’s about the idea. Creativity always wins.
- Get in by showing up, getting involved and building relationships.
- Move up by saying, “Yes.” Volunteer for tasks.
- The more you do, the more you will be noticed. (And likely party with rock stars.)
- The reward for good work is more work.
- The further you move up, accountability goes up.
- We all juggle and drop balls from time to time. Just don’t drop the glass ones.
- Burnout is real. Take care of yourself. Set boundaries. Know what you need to thrive.
- Virtual is the new normal. It’s cost effective. (Hybrid is likely to be a norm too.)
- Advertising is not a career, it’s a lifestyle. Go all in. Rejuvenate. Repeat.
Lois gave Ad Club a sweet piece of advice when looking for a job in advertising: “It’s like bubble gum. Check the flavor. If you don’t like the taste, don’t take it. If you do, take it, and when it’s done, spit it out and try a new flavor.” This is to say that people move around quite a bit in advertising. You may stay at a place you like and move up the ladder. But if you’ve grown beyond your position and you don’t have the opportunity to advance, try a fresh scene. There’s lots to choose from. That’s not to say it’s easy to break into advertising. You do have to be tenacious, dedicated and continually hone your craft. Network. Network. Network.
Whether you are creative or analytical, there is opportunity in advertising. If you want to know more about what it’s like out there in the real world, GVSU Advertising Club has you covered. Shiny nuggets of wisdom from ad pros throughout the industry will enlighten you as you forge your path into the industry. Ad Club meets every other Thursday night at 6:00 PM during the fall and winter semesters. All majors are welcome. There is no attendance requirement and we are super chill to hang with. And, we’re zesty. You can find more blogs, calendar and other goodies on our website: https://gvsuadclub.com/about/