Why I Work in Advertising

Image Credit: Ad Madness

Image Credit: Ad Madness

From a very young age, we’re asked what we want to be when we grow up. We start off with the occupational city jobs like a firefighter, lawyer, doctor, etc. Naturally, this answer changes over time as we learn more about the world and explore our many different talents. But changing your mind didn’t mean that that career choice had lost its validity to you. If you look deeper into them (or most of them), you might see that you’ve always wanted to do the same thing all along.

At 6, I wanted to be an astronaut. I raided the libraries of all books about space. My family, classmates, and teachers would give me anything space-related. I even got a telescope for my 8th birthday. To this day, I can name all the planets in order.

After seeing my cousins draw their favorite comic book heroes, I wanted to be an artist at 9. My room became an art gallery of all my watercolor paintings, hand drawings, and crafty things I’ve made out of cardboard boxes.

These were followed by brief stints of wanting to be an architect, then archeologist. (Apparently, I liked careers that started with the letter “A”.) Then at 13, I wanted to be a comedian because my friends would tell me that my funny nature always made them feel better.

Then after doing a report on advertising at 15, I became fascinated with its power to influence people using imagery and words, and pursued it for the rest of grade school. I now have a Bachelor of Science in Advertising and work as a copywriter at an ad agency. (Yes, like Mad Men.)

At a glance, it seemed like I was all over the place as any kid growing up would be. But in retrospect, I see the bigger picture of what I really wanted to do. I’m in advertising because I like ideas and stories, and each aspiration alluded to just that:

Astronomy appealed to my interest in exploring something big and unknown.

Artistry appealed to my conceptual and creative side.

Architecture appealed to my planning and tactical side.

Archeology appealed to my quest for meaning.

Comedy appealed to my love of telling entertaining and witty stories.

Advertising combines everything that I like doing. It maximizes my multitude of talents and interests ever so perfectly.

Despite advertising’s questionable influence in pop culture and society, the product or brand honestly doesn’t matter  to me (unless it’s tobacco or something unethical) as much as the idea that’s being sold creatively, especially when it does have purpose. It’s art that sells. Over the years, advertising has shifted to promoting more lifestyle-driven ideals rather than commodities. That’s mainly due to the transparency of the internet and how much smarter and more desensitized consumers have become.

I like how touching Apple ads are; I like how moving Nike ads are; I like how clever Dos Equis ads are. I’m fascinated by how these ideas and stories could spread to the masses like wildfire and transcend the brand/product. You could remove the Nike brand from one of its commercials and the message is still creative and inspiring. Those are the kinds of stories I’ve wanted to tell this whole time. Advertising is just another outlet for that. So is this blog. Everything I do is rooted in that purpose.

Sometimes you have to take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and connect the dots of the twists and turns you’ve taken regardless of how random they seem. Only then can you be closer to living a fulfilling life that makes use of your diverse talents and interests. Who knows, your answer might’ve been there all along.

 

About Ronnell Morris

Ronnell is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of NWYT. She is a copywriter by day, a performer by night, and a triathlete by weekend. She loves Disney, musicals, eating, YouTube videos, list-making, and the colors pink and gray too much for her own good. See All of Ronnell's Posts

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