Advertising As a Career Option

Making career choices is not easy. One is overwhelmed by the variety of options available and intrigued about knowing one’s own abilities. Like everyone, I have always wanted to be a lot of things in life, but one has to start with one thing at a time. I took the Commerce stream as I never had the aptitude for Science, and Humanities was a stream too trivial for me. It proved to be a good decision as I did well in class 12th and got the opportunity to continue my education in the area. In college, I explored the various options that my course, B. Com. Honours has, and finally decided to specialize in Marketing in my final year.I chose Marketing as it combined my interests in Commerce and creativity. Marketing in itself is a diverse branch of commerce. Advertising, Public Relations, Marketing Management and Brand Management are only a few of its various branches. After some well spent hours in research and introspection, I finally arrived at the conclusion that I want to further my knowledge in Advertising.Advertising really intrigued me. I have always had an eye for good advertisements but never thought of it as a career option. Now when I read thick, illustrated books on advertising history, I was convinced it would be my profession for life.Advertising is nothing but art. It creatively projects the immediate beliefs and practices of people of a time. For example, Indian advertisements today present a nuclear family, technology oriented youth and working wives, which is true to the nature of present Indian society. Also, since the purpose of advertising is to promote and sell a product, it persuades people by presenting situations and themes relevant to their lifestyles. In this, it presents the immediate culture of society. If archaeologists of the future would want to know the culture of 21st century India, they would have to look at its ads! These aspects of advertising made me understand an advertiser’s responsibility towards society to project its culture without distortion.Now the question was- what does it take to be an advertiser? I believe, to make good ads, one has to be a student of human nature. One should be able to connect with people, because advertising is more about people than products. One should be observant of lives and the needs of people to create effective communication. Another requirement would be creativity. All of us are creative at one level or the other. People who are serious about advertising should make a conscious effort towards enhancing their creativity. If you like photography, then pick up a camera and try taking some interesting pictures. Or if you like to write, then write on some interesting topics. Such activities would bring out your latent creative potential.Advertising is multi-faceted. Print and media are not the only methods of advertising. Outdoor advertising, online advertising and direct marketing are its various challenging new methods today. One can slowly explore the various mediums by researching on the internet or simply observing advertisements all around.An MBA would certainly enhance one’s prospects in this area but one needs to choose the institute and course carefully. Not many institutes in India provide a specialization in advertising. MICA, Ahmedabad is the best institute to launch one’s career in advertising. Symbiosis, Pune and Narsee Monjee, Mumbai are two other renowned institutes which provide comprehensive education in advertising. However, all major management institutes in the UK, the US and Australia have advertising in MBA curriculum.Advertising is an interesting career option for a Commerce student as it is not about making accounts or balance sheets. Advertising requires originality, creativity and a mind open to new ideas. Advertising would be worth a thought for someone who wants to make an unconventional career choice.