You probably already know there are countless opportunities open to the student who attains a B.S. in communications with a focus in advertising.
Advertising is an ever growing field with new job and research-based opportunities opening up all the time. In recent years, the addition of online advertising to existing advertising opportunities has brought further possibilities, and the internet of things will likely take it even further.
Advertising opportunities now go way beyond browsing through career guides and reading advice from the experts on where to begin your advertising careers. Work/study programs are becoming more and more scientific and niche, so as to receive on the job training while completing your degree.
There are many schools to choose from, including campus study or online study. You will learn overall principles, detailed techniques and technical jargon which will further prepare you for the advertising opportunities that await.
With a rapidly changing and expanding field such as advertising, one must study as thoroughly as possible to get the most out of the years which prepare them for the years of application. To really get to know the nature of advertising, you must study the world around you: for at its core, advertising is in fact the study of people. It's based on humanity’s desire: to feel good about one's self, not always from a selfish perspective, but sometimes even to strive for a better world. To achieve this, successful advertisements must always be culturally aware of the context of the time.
One of the greatest modern day ad copy writers who understood this is no longer with us, yet still is revered and studied by marketing and advertising writers today. Gary Halbert’s writings to his son from a prison where he was stationed called The Boron Letters have become legendary. In the letters, he describes in great detail how to hook a potential customer and how to sell anyone anything effectively. His techniques have been taught worldwide among professionals, and have often yielded impressive results. In fact, they are as relevant today as they were at the time.
Gary Halbert relied on a technique that he called AIDA. Attention comes first, as in getting the potential buyer or customer to notice your advertisement. Next is interest, if the customer is not interested you cannot keep his attention. Desire is next, meaning you have to make the customer desire the product and really picture the advantage he will have after he has it. The last letter stands for action. Gary was a stickler for specific instructions, advocating that there should be no stone left unturned when it comes to describing exactly what you want the customer to do and how they should proceed to buy your product.
Thus when choosing the form of study which will propel you into the advertising world, look for a method that fits in with your learning type and schedule, and with the study of people. You will find endless opportunities if you are willing to work hard and study until you have achieved a working knowledge, documented by your results, of the wants and needs of people, both collectively in groups and as individuals. These results and that experience will be worth way more than your advertising degree.
Photo Credit: Petr Dosek