Sunday, September 9, 2007

Success is in the Cards with Advertising Careers

by Ysolt Usigan

They say TV rots your brain, but maybe sitcoms of the past serve a purpose beyond amusement after all. While most TV programs are fiction -- aside from the onslaught of reality TV, that is -- shows of the past are sometimes based on fact and can provide viewers with accurate depictions of the lives of others. Take a career in advertising, for instance. On shows like "Bewitched" and "Who's the Boss?" viewers are clued in on the lives of advertising agents at home, as well as in the office. So if you're interested in earning an advertising degree and striving for advertising careers, read on (and watch the reruns) -- you might learn something.

Creativity Required in Advertising Careers

When it comes to advertising careers, while an advertising degree is a necessity, creativity also plays a large role. As was the case with Darrin Stephens, the mortal husband advertising executive on "Bewitched." From time to time, the source of his creativity was his wife Samantha. While she vowed to give up her witchcraft to become an ordinary suburban housewife, she never really gave up her heritage. Sometimes creeping into her husband's advertising career, Samantha's quirky ways would help her husband advance.

For example, there was a Halloween episode in which Samantha actively defied the fun holiday because it perpetuates the image that witches are ugly, mean, and wicked. Coincidently, Darrin was working on a candy campaign for Mr. Brinkman who wants to use the image of a witch that Samantha absolutely hates. Her supernatural ways take hold and she coerces Mr. Brinkman to use a beautiful witch instead. The unique advertising campaign was a success!

Advertising Careers May Let You Be the Boss

On "Who's the Boss," when Tony Micelli first moved into the Bower residence, Angela Bower worked for an advertising agency. After not being valued by her boss, it wasn't long until she ventured off to start her own advertising business. Taking most of her clients from her previous employment and hiring her mother as her secretary, Bower was able to make her own advertising agency work.

It was a wise career move indeed for the fictional character, but would it be a wise advertising career move for those in the real world to go from advertising account executive to chief advertising executive? And if so, what is the difference? While someone in this managerial position plans and directs all aspects of an organization's initiatives, including its policies, he or she is also responsible for directing concepts and placement of all commercials and promotional materials. It's a big task to handle, but someone with at least 15 years of experience and a degree from college should do the trick. And this kind of worth doesn't go unnoticed. In fact, 80 percent of chief advertising executives are paid between $74,943 and $250,532.

Are the lives of Stephens and Bower enough to convince you to pursue an advertising degree? There aren't many jobs out there where you have the opportunity to be incredibly creative and at the same time reap impressive rewards. Advertising careers are certainly something to consider. And if Stephens and Bower, two fictional advertising executives of the past don't strike an advertising career fancy in you, try watching "Desperate Housewives" and "Queer as Folk" -- there are advertising executives on these current TV dramas, too, illustrating that advertising careers at least has lasting power!

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Ysolt Usigan is a frequent contributor to The CollegeBound Network. Learn more about finding a school or career that's right for you!