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Why advertising?

1 min, 52 sec read
14:21 PM | 4 May 2011

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When you go to every advertising interview or talk to anyone in the industry the one question I guarantee they will always ask you is ‘Why advertising?’

Now, this is the point where most people would correctly say something along the lines that it’s because they want ‘the opportunity to be creative and strategic yet not constrained by the mundane’. However, while creativity is certainly a huge part of what we do there is more to advertising than the concept of creative license. Indeed, similar to art, advertising has different meaning for everyone.

With this in mind, it is probably worth saying why I went into advertising, and why I love doing what I do. It’s probably something to do with my ‘Peter Pan condition’- the want never to grow up. I don’t want to lose the carefree, imaginative world that you live in during childhood. I realise that we all need to have the necessary life transition and it’s not the getting old part in particular that disturbs me (not that I’d mind if I was delayed a wrinkle or two). It’s more that living in Neverland, a world where imagination rules the dominion and which has no boundaries, seems to be unbeatable.

I guess for me, advertising is the closest I could get to Neverland in the real world -a boundless place where the imaginary and reality converge; where creatively and theoretically, anything is possible. Advertising if you like is where all the lost boys and girls of the ‘real world’ live. The ones who always had a slightly different take on what everyone else thought was straightforward and who always let their imagination get the better of them. In an ad agency like AMV you’re surrounded by these people every day, why would you want to do anything else?

It’s very easy to turn up to an interview with a bunch of quotes from the many books on Advertising that are out there and regurgitating half of Jon Steel’s or even Don Draper’s quotes may get you a fair distance. However, if you can truthfully answer the question ‘Why advertising?’ in a way that is unique to you… welcome to the industry.

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