When I Tell People I’m Trying to Get Into Advertising

So recently I’ve been pretty gassed to tell people I’m going to ad school. I finally feel like my life is on somewhat on track – maybe a country road rather than steel reinforced train tracks but it’s going somewhere at least. 

My partner and I are often met with the question ‘so what are you two up to now?’. When I tell people that I’m going to school to get into advertising, to my surprise, they respond with a blank expression. There’s an awkward pause for about half a second when I expect them to follow up with another question but it seems that’s all they want to know about advertising. Absolutely nothing. To fill the abyss in conversation I divert the conversation towards my partner and her far more interesting trade of ceramics, of which people seem to have far more questions. Now I’m not envious, I love it when people are interested in what she does, but it’s very clear a lot of people think advertising is shit and to be honest, do we blame them? The majority of the time it’s invasive and we don’t ask it to be invited into whatever we are doing. The other day I had an advert in the middle of a song on YouTube, and I was outraged. And I clearly remember my grandpa, when I was a child, turning off the sound during the adverts when we were watching tv, during ‘strictly come dancing’.

We know there’s a lot of bad advertising out there but there’s also a lot of good advertising but if this adverting is thrown in people’s faces when they don’t want it to be there it’s going to be met with a negative response. If this happens enough times, the response is reinforced with a negative emotion when they even see an advert. It’s like when I went out for dinner the other day, I was full to the brim, then dessert came out and I wasn’t quite ready for it. My partner was trying to shove a delicious fork of tiramisu in my face (my favourite), which at the time made me feel physically sick looking at it because I had way too many chicken wings moments before. 

You get where I’m going with this.

A lot needs to change with advertising and also the way we deliver it. There’s a portion of writing from ‘Hey Whipple Squeeze This’ 

* Do > Invite > Document > Share
* Instead of saying something, do something.
* Instead of controlling the content, invite people to create it with you.
* Instead of producing some message-based interruption, document the participation and the creation of the content.
* Instead of relying exclusively on paid media, share the story via owned and earned media.

I’m not quite sure why a lot of advertisers haven’t quite cracked this. Even though this book has been out for quite a few years now. Or maybe I’m a naive ad student and it’s not quite as simple as the above. 

If you’re reading this consider going to chapter 12 – ‘Why Pay For Attention When You Can Earn It?’ Or ‘Advertising so interesting, people go out their way to see it.’

Wouldn’t that be nice.


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