What I’ve Learnt (so far) As An Advertising Major.

  1. Anyone who can lie well, will pass Advertising with flying colours. Advertising is about lies, lies, lies. Every week at 7:30am, I write "brilliant" copy for products I know little about – Taj Spa, the iPhone, Ambassador, China Garden. Ive never been to the Taj Spa, know little about the Ambassador, have never played with an iPhone never eaten at China Garden. And let me now say that our Copywriting professor has robbed China Garden of 55 or so potential customers. Coming up with 20 or so ideas for the damn restaurant, to have them rejected and criticized pure ad style is no joke. Burn the damn restaurant down is what I say.
  2. Positioning. The concept, the WORD, must die. Must be buried into the ground and never ever be seen again. Why is it that so many ad-people love throwing around this word, usually with a wise tormented sigh? Nashik’s positioning, Nerolac’s positioning, B4U’s positioning – if I have to come up with another "strong positioning" for a brand, or throw around phrases like "it’s all in the positioning" and "the rest is irrevelant, its positioning, possssssssitioning", I will go out and sell FISH as a career.
  3. Anyone who can faff, and is good at it, will do well in the world of Advertising. When you have to come up with a rationale for the font you’ve used (yes, the FONT!)you will faff. If you faff well, you will be patted on the back for your wonderful font. If you suck at faffing, you will be frowned upon, and your poor old font will be rejected. Yes, even if its good old Times New Roman. God isnt in the details. He’s in the faffing.
  4. Advertising is all about looking good. If you look good, and if your ad looks good, and if your presentation looks ad, most of the time, your client will be stupid enough to fall for the pretty shininess and be blind to the fact that the idea is crap. If there is an idea at all. If youre in a nice suit, if your ads look shiny and glossy, if your presentation swooshes around in the way all these tech-y things do, then if youre lucky, most of the time you’ll get away with having no idea. nada, zero, zilch. Yes, its very pissing off.
  5. You work, and you work, and you work on things most people would laugh at. For example: what colour should this brochure be? Should it have a gradient? Should it be solid or textured? Should we use a white font or black font? A simple font or a swirly font? And the question to beat all questions : does this (colours, textures, fonts) fit with the "positioning?"

I am an Advertising Major. And in a month, Ill be done with my first semester. So far, I havent regretted, no not once, taking Advertising instead of Journalism, when Ive wanted to be a journalist most of my life.

Let me put it this way. Advertising is about lying. Good liars are creative. if a=b, and b=c, then a=c. So advertising is creative. People can say its an unethical career, lying from your teeth, but its a creative one. If you can convince people that your shampoo is better than the billion shampoos in the world, you are creative. If you can come up with more than 20 reasons to eat at a Chinese Restaurant you’ve never been to, you’re creative. It takes great lying-creative skills to survive in advertising, it takes guts. Yes, guts to stand up against the whole "presentation is everything" and fight for the "the idea is everything, the execution comes later" I still dont think Ill survive in the world of Advertising. All I know is that few other things have ever been such a creative challenge.

Faff, lies, china garden & positioning aside – It has its charms.


2 thoughts on “What I’ve Learnt (so far) As An Advertising Major.

  1. Hi baby,
    I guess I am the oldest and most loyal fan of your writing.  I laughed when I read this blog and I really need to laugh these days.  Was very pleased that you used my law of transitivity, a =b, b=c so a=c.  My law of conservation is very nice too – when you just sit and dont do anything constructive – you are conserving energy.  Guess you will practice it when you are home.

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