A Life in Advertising

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For the past couple days, I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C. for an advertising convention. My school sent six students to learn about more about the industry that we are studying. The convention included a number of speakers and panels with advertising professionals. These speakers are giants in the field of advertising having worked with clients such as Coke, Samsung, Louis Vuitton, and BMW, just to name a few. Super impressive.

I am an advertising major who is absolutely passionate about creative campaigns and marketing strategy. I love advertising. I love business. I love entrepreneurship. I know that my field is exactly where I’m meant to be.

I didn’t always feel that way though. In fact, I struggled for a time with trying to reconcile my chosen area of study with what I believe is most important in this life. Let’s face it. Advertising can be an extremely dark industry. In a way, you have to expect the sex appeal, liquor, and profane language coming into it. It is a world driven by product placement and profit. Many people criticize advertising for trying to manipulate people into buying things they don’t need. And advertising is often harshly linked to consumerism and materialism. However, when done ethically, advertising can be an extremely powerful tool. The good outweighs the bad.

To some, the field of advertising could be seen as one of the darkest. But I see it as one with the greatest potential to create change. Advertising isn’t just getting people to buy random junk. It’s so much deeper than that. It’s a cutting-edge industry. It defines pop culture. It pulls innovation forward and pushes creativity to the limit. It commands attention. It unites people on a level that is deeper than the surface. It allows people to connect with and believe a message.

And I have a message to share.

Initially going into advertising, I thought my sole responsibility would be to sell a product. And most of the time I will be promoting a product or service. But what if that product evolved into something deeper? What if I can not only sell a product, but sell a cause as well? Because the same principles apply. In order for people to see the need, it must be pitched to them. It must be sold. I believe that the same tactics to sell a pair of shoes are the same as those needed to raise awareness to provide clean drinking water to the world. These are the same tactics that will allow me to raise money for the work of Christ’s church. These are the tactics the will allow orphans to find loving homes. Share the Gospel in rural African villages. Tactics that will enable light to overcome the darkness.

Advertising is actually quite simple. You start with a story. Grab attention. Share the story. And then enable others to pass it along.

My story is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the story of a God who loved us so much that He sent His son to die in our place that we might spend eternity with him. That is my message. And that is what I will boldly advertise until the day I die.

I really don’t care if I end up doing for-profit or non-profit work. As long as it’s the Lord’s work. I love it all the same because my message is the same. No matter what I end up doing with my degree, as long as I get to love the people I come into contact with along the way… I couldn’t ask for anything more. I am so excited to see what the future has in store.

I can’t wait to get out there and advertise.

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2 thoughts on “A Life in Advertising

  1. Well said!

    I felt the exact same way when I was deciding on a major. But that was something that I learned when attending a conference in NYC, you can actually change lives through advertising. That is truly the beauty of it. It isn’t about manipulating people to believe something, it is about finding a deeper meaning and bringing it to light.

    You are so right about all of those parallels, though. Advertising is such an awesome field with so many possibilities!

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