This article covers the following jobs:
- Advertising Account Executive
- Advertising Art Director
- Advertising Copywriter
- Advertising Media Buyer
- Advertising Media Planner
- Advertising Media Salesperson
- Bill Poster/Fixer
- Camera Operator
- Fashion/Advertising Photographer
- Graphic Designer
The job descriptions are only a brief summary. It is recommended that you do further research on jobs that interest you.
Video: - Various: Advertising and Marketing
All kinds of companies and organisations need to advertise their goods and services. They might want someone to buy their new mobile phone or to use their online shopping delivery service, for example.
The jobs available, for people who want to work in advertising, vary from jobs producing advertisements (ads), to those selling advertising space or buying it on behalf of the company they work for.
The client is anyone who needs to advertise their goods or services. Once they have identified the need for advertising, they hire independent specialists - usually an advertising agency - to plan the details and create the advertising.
Agencies might specialise in one or more types of advertising, including internet, mobile, search engine, interactive, social media, branded content, direct, sponsorship, advertising 'experiences', outdoor, radio or TV. Some agencies offer a wide range of services to clients; these are called integrated or full service agencies.
Advertising Account Executive
Advertising account executives work for all types of advertising agencies, the companies that plan and carry out advertising campaigns. A campaign, run for a particular client, is known as an account. Account executives are often known as account handlers or account managers.
The executive acts as the link between the company that wants to buy advertising services and the advertising agency. Account executives co-ordinate campaigns and make sure that they are profitable.
Account executives work on existing campaigns and also help to compete for new business. They help to plan the campaign and work out budgets.
When the client has agreed to continue with the campaign, the account executive briefs the creative and production teams and co-ordinates the deadlines. They monitor the campaign and provide updates to the client.
To become an advertising account executive, you are likely to need a degree.
For an advertising campaign to be successful, it has to get people's attention. The way in which the campaign is approached depends very much on what is being advertised and who it is being aimed at.
The advertising agency has to come up with one or more creative ideas on how to handle the advertising and then persuade the client to use their services.
Advertising Art Director
Advertising art directors are responsible for the creative content and presentation of things like printed advertisements (ads), online advertising and TV commercials.
The art director works closely with a copywriter, following the client's brief. The brief tells them about the product, service or brand to promote and about the target audience.
The art director and copywriter produce a series of ideas with quickly drawn illustrations that are known as 'storyboards' or 'roughs'. They must think about what the text and graphics will be, as well as the overall look and message.
When the client has approved a rough idea, the art director turns it into the final ad. They might produce the artwork themselves but they are more likely to select a suitable artist to do the work.
Art directors working on television and some online commercials need to choose film directors or production companies, and sometimes the actors and locations.
To become an advertising art director, you usually need art and design training. Many entrants have a degree or HND.
Producing the advertisement
Whether the advertisement (ad) is to be printed or produced for film, radio, television or the internet, there are many people involved in its production.
Different people need to think about the words, the graphics, the sound, who to use in a TV ad, or which celebrity should do the voice-over.
Advertising copywriters write the wording of advertisements (ads), which can take the form of online advertising, newspaper or magazine ads, brochures and posters, and internet, radio and TV commercials.
The client tells them about the product and the target audience. Copywriters need to understand who the ad is aimed at so they can develop ideas to attract their attention. They work closely with an art director in a creative team.
A selection of ideas is presented to the client. Once an idea has been selected, the copywriter writes the full text, which is known as 'body copy'. Copywriters must be able to write clearly in a variety of styles, and be able to cope with criticism and having their work rejected or changed.
There is strong competition for jobs in advertising. To become a copywriter, you are likely to need a degree or HND.
Graphic designers use illustration, typography, photography and computer graphics to create a visual effect or put across a message.
Many graphic designers work for design or advertising agencies. They may design posters, advertisements, brochures, packaging and websites.
Graphic designers use computer graphics in their work. For example, they use software to create visual effects, edit an image or design a website.
Graphic designers need to have creative and original ideas. They need to work well under pressure and pay attention to detail.
Most graphic designers have a degree or Higher National Diploma in a relevant subject, such as graphic design.
Fashion/advertising photographers take photos that attract attention to the product being advertised. Most work on a freelance basis from their own studio. They produce photos for magazines, newspapers, brochures and posters.
Fashion/advertising photographers usually receive a brief from an art director, fashion editor or other client. This brief details the image they wish to project.
A lot of advertising work involves taking still life photos of objects in a studio. Some photographers specialise in a particular area such as food.
Fashion/advertising photographers work under a lot of pressure and must keep within the limits of a budget and meet deadlines.
If you are interested in becoming a fashion/advertising photographer, the best way to learn about the industry is by becoming either a full-time or freelance photographic assistant, although there is a lot of competition for these jobs.
Camera operators shoot film for TV, film and video. Before filming, they read the script to plan camera angles and shots. They discuss these with the director.
During filming, they wear a headset so that they can hear instructions from the director or floor manager. As well as working in a studio, they might work on outside broadcasts. Experienced camera operators might advise the director on visual effects.
If you want to become a camera operator, you need to get as much experience of filming as possible.
Models appear in newspaper and magazine advertisements and features, television commercials, catalogues, exhibitions and fashion shows. They model clothes or promote other products such as jewellery or cars.
Fashion work includes photographic and catwalk modelling. Some models work in both areas. Most models join an agency that represents them and finds them work.
In photographic modelling, models pose for a photographer in a studio or on location. In catwalk modelling, music and special lighting effects are used and the model might have to learn some simple dance routines.
For some types of modelling work, there are height requirements.
Actors and actresses work in live stage performances and/or recorded media such as film and television. Their job is to bring to life, as effectively as possible, the role they are playing. They use their own experience and emotions to help them portray characters.
Actors and actresses usually work under the guidance of a director, who has to make sure that the cast performs well and provides an effective interpretation of the author's text.
Many actors and actresses have periods of unemployment between jobs. During these times, they may have to take on other jobs.
There are no minimum requirements for entering this career, but many complete a professional training course at a drama school.
Distributing the advertisement
However inventive and well produced an advertisement is, to be successful it must be seen in the right place at the right time by the people it is aimed at.
Advertising Media Salesperson
Advertising media salespeople work for national, regional and local newspapers, magazines, online/digital providers, outdoor poster companies and radio and television companies. They sell advertising space and airtime.
Jobs range from selling classified advertisements (ads) in free newspapers to higher-status and better-paid work selling display ads on popular social media sites and airtime during prime-time TV programmes.
Salespeople look for new customers, keep in touch with previous clients and negotiate the terms of contracts. They have to persuade advertisers that their particular medium reaches the target audience and is good value for money.
They work out what the advertiser will pay for the ad; this could be based on its size or length and where it will appear in the newspaper, magazine or website, where posters will be sited and for how long, or what time it will be on the television or radio.
The way into this job depends on the type of company you would be working for. Major online/digital providers, national newspapers and television companies usually recruit graduates.
Advertising Media Planner
Advertising media planners work out how they can deliver an advertising message to the largest number of targeted people in the most cost-effective way.
First, they need to know what the product, service or brand is, who it is being aimed at and how much money is available to buy advertising space or time with. They prepare a plan stating which mix of media should be used (for example, social media, mobile, newspapers, magazines, posters, television, radio, search engines and other digital media).
They decide when advertisements should appear and how much this will cost. They base their decision on their in-depth knowledge of circulation figures, audience ratings and current trends. Some planners also do the buying.
Many people who enter this job have a degree.
Advertising Media Buyer
Media buyers work for advertising and marketing agencies. They negotiate the purchase of advertising space in online and other digital and interactive media, in newspapers and magazines, on posters and at the cinema, for example.
They also buy advertising time on television and radio, including interactive digital TV (for example, through the red button) and catch-up TV and radio. They might also buy things like sponsorship. In some agencies, buyers can specialise in one type of media.
The media buyer receives a brief from the planner. This gives an outline of the type, or mix, of media to be used. It also sets the budget available and the number and type of readers or viewers the client hopes to reach.
The media buyer then negotiates the best deal for the client, using knowledge of any special discounts available. Buyers must make sure that they keep within the budget and maintain careful records of all deals they make.
To become an advertising media buyer, you are likely to need a degree. Some jobs are for planner/buyers, combining both roles.
Bill posters, sometimes known as bill fixers or advertising installers, put up advertising posters on hoardings or billboards. Bill posters usually drive a van to transport the posters, ladders, and equipment to the advertising hoarding sites.
They strip old posters from the hoardings and put up the new ones. As they often work from ladders, they need a good head for heights.
Some posters are put into glass-fronted display panels in shopping centres, pubs and clubs, leisure centres, petrol stations, airports or underground stations, or on bus shelters, for example. Some of these posters now have sound chips. Posters might also be put on buses, taxis and lorries.
To enter this job, you would first become a trainee with a bill posting company, assisting a skilled bill poster. When you have passed the health and safety training, you can work alone. You will usually need a full driving licence.
Skills for the creative industries
Publisher: Creative & Cultural Skills
Creative & Cultural Skills
Skills for craft, cultural heritage, design, literature, music, performing arts and visual arts
Advertising Association (AA)
Address: 7th Floor North, Artillery House, 11-19 Artillery Row, London SW1P 1RT
Tel: 020 7340 1100
Chartered Society of Designers (CSD)
Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA)
Address: 44 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8QS
Tel: 020 7235 7020
Design and Art Direction (D&AD)
Address: Britannia House, 68-80 Hanbury Street, London E1 5JL
Tel: 020 7840 1111
Publisher: Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA)