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The ins and outs of pursuing a career in advertising

2 min, 18 sec read
14:50 PM | 5 March 2014

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By Naomi Hodgson, one half of the creative team Toby & Naomi.

Advertising, advertising, advertising. It’s everywhere. So it wasn’t surprising that this had a big impact on my childhood. I remember sitting in my living room, watching the big box and singing along to the jingles. On occasion I’d even try to guess the next advert... I was an only child if you hadn’t already guessed. I know it sounds cheesy, but I believe I was meant to be an advertiser.

"Advertising has really opened
my eyes to the world."

Even from a young age I was drawing posters for my toys and advertising the many singing/circus shows I forced my family to endure. This passion, however, wasn’t made completely obvious to me until I was 17. I entered and won an anti smoking film competition put together with Channel 4 and Cancer Research. This opened up the wonders of the industry and I was hooked. I remember holding the Channel 4 pass badge in my hand and feeling really important. Don’t get me started on the free lunch. But it wasn’t the perks that pulled me into advertising. I was completely amazed that one little thought in my brain had an impact that could change people’s lives, hopefully for the better. Even today that aspect still astonishes me.

“Winning a... Pencil will nearly make you pass out with joy.”

Another thing I love about advertising is you can pretty much win any pub quiz you enter. Every week we have to become an expert on different subjects. One brief could involve us becoming milk connoisseurs and for another we’d have to become gardening pioneers. I’ve always loved learning useless facts but when you’re in advertising there’s no such thing as a useless fact. You probably wouldn’t think knowing that a hummingbird weighs the same as a penny would come in useful but I bet one day I’ll use that fact for an idea.

"Your ideas won’t appear without feeding info to your brain first."

Advertising has really opened my eyes to the world. I know I have to have a broad knowledge of things to keep popping out ideas. I always say the brain is like a computer, if you’re constantly trying to print out something without feeding through the relevant files first you’re not going to get anything. Same with ideas. Your ideas won’t appear without feeding information to your brain first. It’s one of the only jobs where you can watch random videos on YouTube all day and it’s still classed as work.

Oh and winning a D&AD Student Yellow Pencil will nearly make you pass out with joy.

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