Sometime during my teens I stumbled into advertising and worked in ad agencies during weekends through pre university. By the time the stint was over I had learned all that is know about advertising and was all set for an illustrious career in anything other than advertising. The tricks and gimmicks that I have learned working in an ad agency will be very useful for people who are contemplating an advertising career in the Creative side...
The web defines Advertisement as "Item of publicity to promote a product or service in newspapers, magazines, on TV etc."
Let me take the example of the following products/service to illustrate this point.
Marketing guy from shampoo company (MG): Ok, We need to push up sales of our Gopika shampoo.
Creative Director of Ad Agency(CD): And what is unique about your shampoo that we can highlight?
CD sends out a talent scout to look for a gal with long lustrous hair.
Talent Scout (TS) to gal with long lustrous hair: Ma’am you have lovely hair
Gal: er.. thank you. Do I know you?
TS: I am from ABC Modeling Agency, would you like to model?
Gal (jumping up and down with glee): wow !!! What will it be? Revlon cosmetics, Lee Jeans or a Mercedes car?
TS: er...you could call it cosmetics...
After the confirmation and paperwork CD sets up the photo shoot. The gal’s hair is washed and cleaned by an expert beautician using the best imported shampoo and lots of photographs are taken of her hair in various hair styles in landscaped gardens, in the shower, in an office setting etc.
Scene at the studio
Gal: what the f*&%$ I thought I will be modeling for cosmetics, why are you photographing my hair and not my face?
CD: er, this is just the beginning; we will unveil your lovely face in a phased manner.
Gal (happily): Oh ok.
After the shoot she is paid a pittance and unceremoniously shown the door.
MG: I know our Raja Toothpaste sucks but I gotta sales target to meet here.
Talent Scout is sent to various colleges during lunch break. He shortlists a couple of gals and guys with the widest grins, and gets them over to the studio where a dentist waits with white paint.
Scene at the studio
Gal no. 1: What’s that? (Pointing to the white paint)
Dentist: This is XYZ teeth cleaner.
Guy no. 2: What does it do?
Dentist: It cleans your teeth to a sparkling white. It is IDA certified.
Guys and Gals: That’s neat!!
Dentist to assistant: Give them all my visiting card. They will definitely need it by this time tomorrow.
The guys and gals are clothed in funky college costumes and their teeth painted white by the dentist. The photographer adjusts his filter to subdue the shine from their teeth and takes numerous group photos of the guys and gals grinning widely at the camera.
After the shoot they are paid a pittance and unceremoniously shown the lift, aching jaws and all.
APPOINTMENT AD FOR IT COMPANY
HR Manager: We need to get the best talents into our company.
CD: Ok, so what are the benefits that your company offers prospective employees?
HR: Benefits?? What’s that?
CD: Ok, I get the point!
Talent Scout is sent out to Engineering colleges to look for very ordinary looking guys and gals (VOG)(This is for a more realsitic effect). After short listing a few he approaches them.
TS: Hello I am from XYZ Modeling agency; we are looking for your kinda face for our latest ad campaign.
TS: Yes !! You guys kinda fit the role. What are your names?
VOG no 1: I am Nadamuri Tharakka Venkatravamma and these are my friends Marudur Gopala Krishnan , Shinykutty Johnson, Srilakshmi Venkatachalapathy and Konkona Roychowdhury.
TS: Whew that was quite a mouthful. You will look just right for the role I have in mind.
VOGs are dressed in office wear with access cards around their necks and taken to Taj Westend. They are made to sit in the conference room and photographed looking seriously into laptops. A blond man staying at the hotel is persuaded to sit with them for the shoot for added effect. Then the guys’ strip into swimming suits while the girls enter the pool in their Salwars and pose like they are having a blast. Finally they are taken to the in-house discotheque where they are photographed dancing and presumably having fun.
HR to CD: Make it look like it is great working for Really Soft Technologies Pvt. Ltd. even though we are a 24/7 sweatshop.
CD(sarcastically): Shall I shoot the Vidhana Soudha as the new Really Soft Technologies Pvt. Ltd. building madam ?
HR: Why not! Personally I would have preferred the Taj Mahal but we don’t have the money to send you even by second class three tier to Agra.
After the shoot the VOGs are paid a pittance and ceremoniously shown the Taj Westend gate by the liveried Gatekeeper.
The copywriter then takes these photos, writes a catchy headline a smart body copy and makes a snazzy advertisement, which is splashed in various publications for your consumption.
I think I will stick with Shikakai powder, Neem twigs and my present company.