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Advertising Specialist


Advertising. It is as much loved as it is detested. It is such a creative medium that television advertisers have their own awards called the Clio awards to acknowledge outstanding advertising. Successful ad campaigns will create public interest in and knowledge of a product and most importantly, cause people to buy the product. It is the job of an advertising specialist, also called an advertising account executive, to work with the clients and their companies to produce ad campaigns that will please the client and tempt consumers.

Advertising specialists devise and run advertising campaigns. Once they have consulted with the client to decide on the style of advertising they want, ad specialists may devise the idea themselves, but most often they consult a team of creative artists and copywriters and brainstorm to come up with ad concepts. It is then the job of the advertising specialist to take these concepts and make a presentation or "pitch" to the client. Often a single client will be pitched to by more than one agency, so there is a lot of pressure involved in the presentation process. Advertising specialists may also need to provide ideas, on the spot, if the client is not satisfied with their pitch. This means they must have strong creative skills and confidence in their ideas.

The job of an ad specialist does not end there however. Once a concept is approved by the client, the advertising specialist must then arrange to have it published or broadcast. This may involve working with copywriters and graphic designers to create design and layout, or working with a director to create a TV commercial. They are also responsible for booking the TV time, meeting press deadlines, reserving billboard space and doing whatever is necessary to carry out the campaign.

Advertising specialists have many responsibilities. They must be able to work well with a team of people and alone and they must have confidence in their ideas to present them. Besides creating the concepts and providing the spaces, times and deadlines for the campaign, ad specialists are also responsible for conducting market research and preparing budgets for the campaigns they create. This is a highly competitive field, and with the pressure of being creative on demand and working to deadlines it takes a focused, creative, dedicated individual to be a successful advertising specialist.
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  Interests and Skills  
Advertising specialists must first and foremost be imaginative and creative thinkers to succeed in this career. They must enjoy the art of persuasion known as advertising and have an interest in keeping up with the latest advertising trends. Advertising specialists need to have excellent communication skills in order to interact with clients, and be able to pitch a successful campaign. They need good business sense, and the ability to conduct market research that will aid in the success of their campaigns. Advertising specialists must also be able to work well under pressure, as this is a very high-pressure job, with tight deadlines. Finally, they must have confidence in their ideas and the ideas of their creative team to produce a successful ad campaign.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Discuss with clients the products to be advertised
  • Assist the client with marketing strategies
  • Present draft campaigns or pitches to clients
  • Perform market research and budgeting related to each campaign
  • Meet with other specialists (such as copywriters, researchers, and graphic artists) to develop the details of a campaign
  • Coordinate the work of relevant departments (writers, graphic artists) to meet the required deadlines
  • Arrange for studio time, advertising billboard space, or print space as required for the campaign
  • Liase with the client throughout the projects development
  • A typical day for an advertising specialist is busy. They may conduct market research to find out how their advertising campaigns are received by the public. They may meet with clients to discuss their marketing strategies or with copywriters, graphic designers or directors regarding the direction of a campaign. Much of their day is spent writing reports, and brainstorming advertising ideas. They tend to work long hours, averaging about nine to 11 hours per day with weekend work and longer hours required to meet deadlines. Most advertising specialist work for advertising firms, so clients will meet them at their office, but some, who work with larger international clients, may be required to travel to meet with clients.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Advertising specialists work for advertising firms and large companies that hire their own in-house advertising teams.

  Long Term Career Potential  
There is some room for advancement in this field but, since advertising specialists are already at the top of the advertising ladder there is not a lot of room for specific upward advancement. Advertising specialists with experience can go into their own business as consultants or start their own ad agency.

  Educational Paths  
There are no specific educational qualifications to becoming an advertising specialist. Most people who work in the advertising business have a business, marketing or advertising degree or bachelor's degree in a related subject. Advertising specialists may decide to get an MBA (Master of Business Administration). Some people in the advertising business also have communications or psychology degrees, which helps them understand the sociological and psychological factors that affect the buying decisions of consumers.

For those interested in advertising a good place to start is by taking marketing courses that cover areas such as creative strategy, media strategy, advertising effectiveness and the role of advertising in society. Watching television commercials, reading print ads and ad magazines are also ways to stay informed of advertising trends and gain an understanding of this field.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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