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So You Want a Job in Advertising
By: Brian Keller
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This is what you think will happen.
 
You will spend Creative days in cool offices with basketball courts, ping pong tables, and espresso machines, amongst well-dressed attractive people. Your work will be crafted, creative, coveted, comprehensive. You’ll work on TV commercials all over the world and make the Internet hum with your intellect. Verbs will fly from your keyboard, be it virtual or viral (viral is now planned). Your adjectives will advertise. Your descriptions will not be denied. Your Art Director will, as will you, never pander, never give in, and only do the most original work. Maybe you’ll both invent a brand for Nike, or convince Apple to change their font and free themselves from the tyranny of TBWA/Chiat/Day.
 
This is what will happen.
 
Once again we turn to Marcus Bailey World Wide. They’ve accommodated us with more “fly on the wall” access. International Creative Global Chief M. L. Lee grants a young creative rare personal time.

 
Joey: Hi.

M. L.: Joey, do I know you?

Joey: You requested that I come to your office. I won the coveted Student Clio.

M. L.: You did? Are you sure I didn’t win that? When did you interview?

Joey:  Seven months ago. Did you enter the Student Clio?

M. L.: My staff enters me for everything. I would imagine that I have won that at some time. Seven months and you’re here already?

Joey: I’m a writer.

M. L.: We need writers. I love writers. What do you write?

Joey: Advertising. I would imagine, with my Student Clio and straight A's in ad school, I’ll be doing TV.

M. L.: For whom will you write? That’s great. I love to see young talent. Do you have a driver’s license?

Joey: Yes. I guess I’m going to write here at Marcus Bailey.

M. L.: That’s great that they sent you to me.

Joey: You are one of the greats in the business.
 
M. L.: Yes, I know. My wife, Dakota, is having a cleanse. The Rover broke down. Go pick her up. That’s great. A license is great.

Joey: Will I be working with an Art Director?

M. L.: Why would you need an Art Director to pick up my wife? She’s a great stager. Do you have a home for sale?
 
Joey: I’m 23, sir.

M. L.: Twenty-three? Isn’t that a bit old to start an advertising career? Did you know we took viral and controlled it, combined it with UX. At one point viral went viral because some nitwit made something that was deemed interesting. We decide what’s interesting.
 
Joey: I didn’t know.

M. L.: Have you seen my YouTube film 'Owl in a Room'? Eight months of planning and research. It went viral.

Joey: It‘s a pivotal moment in advertising. The owl behind the man bouncing the ball. It invited people to imagine any product and attach any brand to it. Brilliant. What client was it intended for, originally?
 
M. L.: All our clients. Innovation Strategy streamlined Account Services and now we do one communication across the board, thus freeing clients from multiple invoices. We  never have to worry about versions, either. We produce the same thing for all our clients. But, of course, we produce them one at a time so each remains original. Owl in a Room has been turned into a feature. I’ll be helming.

Joey: That is such great news for you.

M. L.: Most news is great for me. You’re going to be in the Total Cleanse group.

Joey: Total Cleanse? I didn’t know I’d be working on package goods.

M. L.:  This is Total Cleanse. Total Cleanse is at the epicenter of interior cleaning.

Joey: Like Service Master?

M. L.: Total Cleanse cleans the toxins from your body, leaving you thrilled and delighted. You’ll be working on the POP and the Total Cleanse microsite and mail stuffers. Do well and you’ll do the newspaper inserts. It’s Dakota’s business. This is the launch. She’s almost 27 and has spent a lifetime of service in home staging. She’s won awards, she’s made the industry better...and humanity as well. Now she’s out to cleanse America from the inside. America needs cleansing. She was born to do this, and now she’ll have time to spend with the twins’ (Fios and Bundle) nannies to gather intelligence on their progress. She’ll be a mother again. You will work closely with Dakota to realize her dream and of course to make money for this agency.

Joey: With an Art Director?
 
M. L.: Dakota knows Photoshop.
 
If you are good enough and lucky enough to get a job, be ready to spend some time with a life you’re unprepared for. Prepare for it. Our business is a business. Most start at the bottom. Most work very hard. Most find out that advertising is a most engaging career, but it does come with some sacrifice and some folks like M. L. So, prepare and enjoy, but don’t be surprised that what you imagined about the business is the result of a good imagination.


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About the Author
Brian Keller is the Creative Director at teeny agency in Baltimore. He graduated from the University of Maryland (English), went to grad school at NYU (Cinema Studies), & attends University of Baltimore School of Law.

Brian's been working primarily in the digital space for years but enjoys all communications avenues.

He has built the creative departments at two agencies.

He likes skateboarding with his son. He also falls off his skateboard and amuses his son. When not amusing his son or riding bikes or playing basketball or working he writes for Beyond Madison Avenue & that's why Beyond Madison Avenue appears twice in this sentence.

Find him online here and at www.teenyagency.com.
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