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Careers in Mass Communication: Advertising

In India Advertising is a growing industry with a market size of Rs. 12,000 Crore. It is growing at a rate of 13-14% per annum. Advertising is a tool for brand-building through effective communication. It helps in demand creation, Market promotion and boosting economic growth. T.V., radio, websites, newspapers, magazines, bill-boards and hoardings etc. are commonly used mediums for advertising.

Advertising is a most sought after career these days. More and more agencies are opening up every day. Advertising field offers a range of lucrative, interesting careers. It is quite glamorous and at the same time challenging. Today all organizations need advertising to communicate with their target audience. It is an ideal profession for a creative individual who can handle work-pressure. 

Advertising professionals find jobs in advertising agencies, in-house advertising agencies or departments of large companies, or with mass media as advertising sales representatives. Career opportunities in advertising include openings in private advertising agencies; advertising department in private or public sector companies; in advertising sections of newspapers, journals, magazines; commercial section of radio or television; market research organisations etc. One can also do freelancing. Major ad agencies in India are Mudra Communications, Ogilvy & Mather, Lintas and Rediffussion.

The jobs in this field are categorised into two, Executive and Creative. The Executive Department understands client needs, finds new business and retains existing business, selects the appropriate media, analyses timing and placement of advertisements and negotiate the financial aspects of the deal. The job areas in this department include:

  • Client Servicing: It is the link between the client and the agency. This department is responsible for meeting prospective clients and getting business for the company. It involves a study of the client, the product and the market; an analysis of consumer behaviour and marketing; knowledge of all available media and their cost effectiveness, and a strategic plan to be presented to the client.
  • Market Research : Every good ad plans, start with research. This is the department that surveys the market and analyses and studies consumer behavior about a product or service. They are involved with collection of data- information about the consumer, the market, existing competition and so on. An MBA or a degree in statistics/operations research is ideal for this job.
  • Media Planning/Research : Its job starts after the ad is complete. It is responsible for the planning, scheduling, booking and purchase of space and time (in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV, and outdoor hoardings). It devises the most effective use for an advertising budget to effectively and economically transmit a campaign message to the target audience. This department consists of the following:
  • Media Planner: They decide the different media where the ads would be featured in order to get maximum viewership.
  • Media Buyer: They negotiate to buy space in the Press, or time on electronic media at the best rates. For this they need to have an up to date knowledge of the buying and selling trends.

Creative department creates the advertisement copy. They design and conceptualize the advertisement according to the specific need of the client. The areas of work in this department include:

  • Copywriters : The Copywriter evolves a theme for the campaign and provides the text for advertisements. They work out the campaign slogan, jingles, scripts and promotional literature of the product or service as well as proposals, concept notes and film treatments. They are also expected to edit all textual matter for factual, syntax and typesetting discrepancies before it goes into production.
  • Visualisers : The Visualisers work on the visual concepts and decide how the ad shall eventually look. They do the overall layout of message including graphics, sketching etc. A degree/diploma in commercial arts or fine arts as well as the knowledge of designing software like Photoshop, Pagemaker, Corel Draw etc. are often the required qualifications.
  • Photographers : Photographers should have an idea about angles and lighting effects. Good technical ability and knowledge of cameras and lenses is essential.

Many new areas like Event Management, Image Management, Internet Marketing etc. are also emerging within advertising. Events are marketed under event management. Profiles of individuals or an organization are projected under Image management. Internet marketing has also brought about a lot of changes in advertising as it caters to a select group of audience rather than a mass audience.

As ad films are also a part of film making career options of film are related to this field. 

Most advertising agencies recruit candidates with a formal management or advertising/mass communication qualification. The creative department prefers graduates with a command over the language and knowledge of designing packages. MBA's are preferred for posts in the market research, client servicing and media planning departments.

Some of the major institutes offering courses in advertising are Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Mudra Institute of Communications and Mass Communications Research Centre (Jamia).

The salary structure in advertising is quite high. However, earnings in an agency vary with its 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.

Media buyers select the best media for clients. Media representatives come to the buyer’s office armed with statistics to prove that their numbers are better, their costs per thousand are less, and their medium delivers more audience than competitive media. Media buyers have to evaluate these claims. They must also bargain with the broadcast media for best rates and make deals with the print media for good ad positions. Large ad agencies have active marketing research departments that provide market information needed to develop new ad campaigns and assess current campaigns. People interested in marketing research should consider jobs with ad agencies.

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