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Types of Advertising Careers

Advertising careers cover the gamut of roles involved in meeting the needs of business clients. You can work in the creative department as a copywriter or art director, manage accounts, or plan and buy media.

Copywriter Role

A copywriter develops the written or spoken message in an advertisement. This role requires someone with excellent English skills as well as a creative mind. The copywriter works closely with the art director in putting together the creative strategy for an advertising campaign. The copy must communicate the information or persuasive message that the advertiser wants a target market to read, watch or hear. Copywriters typically earn a degree in communication, journalism, marketing, advertising or public relations. After establishing yourself as a junior copywriter, you can gain a promotion to a senior copywriter to work on bigger client projects.

Art Director

The art director develops the visual component of an ad message. In collaboration with the copywriter, the art director creates images that show off the brand, attract attention and contribute to the overall message. In print media, the art director uses graphic software programs to build images. In television and digital ads, the art director develops the scenery, movement and visual elements of the advertisement. An associate or bachelor's degree in graphic arts is common for an art director. Many start in production and layout roles before transitioning into a junior art director position. Veteran senior art directors sometimes aspire to become a creative director, which is the highest role in a creative department.

Account Manager

Account management is the department in an ad agency responsible for ensuring a quality agency-client relationship. An entry-level account manager works with a handful of clients. In this role, you work with the client's contact person to gather details of goals, message ideas, budget, branding and media preferences. You then coordinate the communication between the client and creative department as the advertising campaign evolves. A degree in marketing or advertising is common, but any general business degree can land you an account manager role. Success leads to junior executive and then to senior executive positions.

Media Buyer

The media buyer is responsible for working with various media outlets to purchase time or space on behalf of a client. The primary responsibility of a media planner or buyer is to get the best value for the client while putting together a package of desirable ad placements. The buyer develops relationships with advertising sales representatives at print, broadcast and online media companies. Media buyers often have business, marketing, advertising or communication degrees. Assistant media planner is a common entry-level position where you help a senior buyer collect data and plan media buys. Several opportunities for promotion exist, with executive media director as the common title for the top media department role.

Research Director

Research is another possible career path in advertising. Some agencies have internal research departments, while others hire external marketing research firms when necessary. As an entry-level researcher or planner, you perform basic studies, develop surveys, interview potential customers and organize data. This data is used to develop targeted ad messages. An advertising or marketing research degree is common for this career area. Research director often is the highest role in an advertising research department, though research and account planning sometimes overlap in agencies.



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