There comes a time when after years of college studies, specializations, master degrees, courses, workshops, and God-knows how many thoughts of preparing the right answer for the following question you find yourself petrified at that family dinner or at a friend´s party by someone asking:
“What do you do?”
You look at them, you smile, and you confidently say:
“I work in advertising”
After answering, you expect the usual ¨cool” back at you followed by a “you made that TVC where…?”. This may be true but that is not what everyone working in advertising nor marketing are dedicated to. Even if you´d said marketing, people think they both do the same thing: creating TVCs
Usually, this happens not even mentioning your job position. In that case, the situation could become a little tricky.
“I´m a copywriter”
“A what?… Oh! A writer? like books and stuff?”
So, I decided to make a short description of the most common positions you may encounter within the advertising industry:
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE. No, they do not work with accounting. Though, yes, they manage client´s budgets. “Account” stands for “Client”. They basically provide customer service. This position represents the link between the agency and the client. They understand the objectives, needs, and requests from the client. They take in projects, and brief the other departments on what is needed to be done. They do the follow-up of every single step, I repeat, EVERY SINGLE STEP of the process until they deliver the presentation to the client. After approval, they are in charge of contacting suppliers, and ensuring everything is executed right.
PLANNER / STRATEGIST. Whilst the Account Executive focuses on the client, the Planner focuses on the consumer. They are in charge of translating the data of market research regarding the consumer´s most deep desires. They follow trends, and understand the psychology behind any behavior. They provide guidance through the creative process in order to connect ideas in a strategic way, and ensure the engagement of the consumer.
DESIGNER. This one might be the obvious position anyone could understand but you never know. They are the ones creating the visual communication of a brand. Choosing the right colors, the best typography, and a clean composition are the main focus of a designer. Nowadays, due to the development of technology, you can find designers specialized in improving the interaction of a user with a product. They are referred to as User Experience (UX) designers.
COPYWRITER. They are mainly known for using the right words to attract the attention towards an advertising material but the reality is that, in order to get there, they have to research a lot, and be able to connect ideas to create concepts. These concepts lead to the creation of compelling content, and stories. So, yes, they are the ones writing the script for TVCs or that jingle you cannot get out of your head. Though the copywriters are also responsable of the text you read in a website, the promotional words of a brochure, or the Twitter posts of your favorite brand. They ensure the tone and voice of a brand.
SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST. This role was born due to the growth of interactions through social media platforms which have become a new opportunity for brands to engage with consumers. The Social Media Strategist is in charge of identify what the users are talking about, where are they interacting the most, and what is the type of content needed to attract them in each channel of online communication. They are responsable of managing an online community who are constantly connected and expecting for the brands to answer back through this medium.
In summary, next time you take a look at any brand´s campaign think about all the people working behind it to make it possible. As any other job, it is a teamwork resulting in, yeah, very cool and magical stuff (most of the time).
If you are still feeling confused, it is ok. Do not worry. We understand it can be difficult sometimes.
Check the videos posted below if you feel identified. Enjoy!
About the author:
Silkhe: She’s been living brand stories from two dark sides. From the client´s vision to the advertising agency´s perspective. Even though the force is strong in each of them both have given her the skills to discover myself. She specializes in Marketing Strategy & Copywriting with some design skills.