Believe it or not, ads aren’t designed to punish you for watching a 20 minute YouTube vid or for not having Spotify premium. Advertising’s about getting people to think, feel, or act differently, whether that’s buying stuff or stopping them smoking.
Usually done across print, TV, radio, online and social media (including influencers), so you won’t get bored of doing the same stuff.
It’s a career that involves creative problem solving, market research, communication skills and heaps of innovation.
Agencies work on behalf of clients, from big global brands like Adidas to local companies like L&P, and government agencies for PSAs. Anyone that wants to get a message about their products and services out to people.
The advertising industry contributes around $6 billion to the New Zealand economy, so there are plenty of advertising agencies to work for.
Learn more about different agency types:
People in advertising come from all backgrounds. We’ve got artists, engineers, philosophers. People who are good with money and people who are good at TikTok.
Academic background isn’t as important as the ability to work well in a team, think creatively and communicate well. It’s a fast-paced environment, so resilience is helpful too.
Some roles do require some specific skills though. If you’re keen to be a copywriter or art director, you’ll need to be able to come up with ideas. If you’re a data analyst, you’ll need to be good with numbers and a wiz on excel.
Your personality will get you far in advertising. Making and placing advertising requires lots of different skills and personalities working together, so there’s a good chance you can find your piece in the puzzle.
Some examples include:
Advertising is part of culture. You’re likely surrounded by it more than movies and books. Great ads connect with people and public opinion is extremely valid. If ads are supposed to connect with diverse groups, then it should be informed and created by people representing those communities.
Just as the advertising industry welcomes people from all academic backgrounds, it also welcomes people from all cultural backgrounds. This ensures that advertising is relevant to all audiences that live in Aotearoa.
Is advertising all about selling stuff?
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A lot of advertising is concerned with the promotion of goods and services from New Zealand companies. However, Aotearoa is a leading nation in behavioural change advertising. That's the sort of advertising that helps organisations like the government, or local councils, or charitable organisations change the way we act or behave in socially conscious ways. That could be encouraging New Zealanders to eat more healthily, or exercise, or check in with a doctor. Or how to have a healthy home, or drive safely. This is less about 'selling' and more about how to live better lives.
What are the hours of work?
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Creative businesses sometimes require deadlines to be met that require longer hours to be worked. This is balanced by flexible working practices, great work environments and rewarding work outputs.The core hours in the industry are similar to other full time careers - a 40 hour working week, Monday to Friday.
How diverse is the advertising community?
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Like many industries there is work to be done in this area. The Comms Council regularly measures representation across agencies. We are currently under-represented amongst Māori and Pasifika communities. We've also got work to do to increase accessibility among disability communities. However, the industry recognises the importance of being represented by the communities in which we operate. There are a number of Māori-owned and Pasifika-owned advertising agencies in Aotearoa, and many individual agencies with specific Diversity and Inclusion programmes.
There are a few ways to get a crack in. Different roles have different pathways. To explore some of the ways to get your foot in the door, follow the link below.