What Makes the Advertising Industry So Special?

When I left the practice of law many years ago, my friends always asked me – “Why Advertising?” I would often respond with a shrug and a “I dunno.” But the truth is that advertising simply fits my personality and skill set to a tee. It is the only profession in the world where you are charged with changing human behavior in that our job is to create advertising that will actually cause a consumer to take a specified action over another. We are molders of human behavior.

When I started in this business, advertising was a unique blend of art and science. Many of the strategies we deployed were based on past experience and limited research. The art was in our ability to craft a creative message that would get noticed, get the customer emotionally involved with the product and get them to take action on the message.

Today, with the emergence of the Internet and more sophisticated research and tracking mechanisms, our business is more about trackable results and ROI on every dollar spent. This is as it should be. These tools allow us to make sure that we are delivering on our promise to our clients and generating quantifiable results. Technology now affords us the ability to predict and track as never before. The Internet allows us to take rifled approaches and track the consumer from the ad to their final action within our clients’ website? This stuff is like Big Brother on steroids.

In this age of science, technology and tracking many ask if the “Art” side of our business has been lost. I for one believe that that “Art” in advertising is alive and well. While a text ad is a search engine is not so creative, there is an art in writing the copy in that text ad that will generate better results than our competitor. In addition, with media fragmentation and a greater focus on results, the ability of our ads to get noticed has never been at a higher premium. With our potential customers being bombarded with more media messages than ever before, the ability to break through the clutter has never been more important.

Is advertising still art and science? I say yes. The tools we use are different and the focus on quantifiable results are greater. It just provides us more opportunities to produce great results for our clients.