According to statistics, millennials make up a whopping 44% of the advertising industry. It’s no wonder: in a time of disillusionment with higher education and the job prospects it’s supposed to guarantee, advertising seems like one of the only industries out there offering young people economic stability and creative stimulation.
As of now, women make up of 60% of all agency positions. From the outside, it looks pretty cool and fun to work in: when a girl says she works at an advertising agency, you might subconsciously think of her as a super cool chic. However, is advertising all that these girls ever wanted? So, let’s take a closer look at these ladies. They all come from different countries and have different backgrounds, and are united by an overarching characteristic: working in advertising isn’t necessarily their end goal.
This photo project shows girls from ad agencies, but not in the usual way you see them on blogs—in front of their Macs, wearing cool dresses and hipster glasses. Here, they’re real: wearing their pyjamas at home on a casual Sunday morning.
They laugh, talk and tell stories about their lives and their dreams.
Reality: Junior Art Director
I was at the last year of high school and I was thinking to pursue a career as a translator. I had been studying foreign languages and I thought that might have been what would have made me happy. Nevertheless, one day I realised that repeating other people’s words for my entire life was not exactly something that made me excited, and that I wanted to have the chance to say something, too. At the time I knew some people attending design courses at the university in Turin and they were always talking about their work with an unbelievable passion and engagement. That’s when I started to put my eyes on the advertising world.
I think being an art director is one of the most beautiful jobs in the world. You think, you talk, you have fun creating new worlds and stories to tell and somehow, you work in order to make the everyday a little less predictable.
Dream: Bakery Owner
However, I’m sure I’m not going to do this job for ever. When I’ll be 40 I’ll give up the advertising world and I will pursue what I’ve dreamed to do since I was 12: BREAD. I’d really like to open a bakery. I think there’s nothing more satisfying than sinking your hand in the dough and seeing such different separate ingredients become something incredibly enjoyable.
And that’s not so different from creating of an idea, after all.
Reality: Art Director
I think my first design love was package design. Even as a kid, I liked the colorful designs of food packaging in supermarkets. I also loved playing around with Microsoft Publisher, creating fantasy projects. Once my friend and I had this whole burger restaurant concept figured out, with fitting menus and everything. I guess there weren’t so many computer games for kids back then! As a teenager, I was helping out at my parents’ company. When they were renewing some of their packaging I always got to say my opinion and I felt they listened. One time, they let me design the package for a completely new product. I did everything in Photoshop because it was all I knew, but it worked out pretty great in the end. I remember I was so excited to see it finally in stores.
Dream: Art Director
I think I dreamt a little about being an illustrator, but even more than that, I wanted to work in an advertising agency. I thought that would combine everything I like. At the moment, I’m most interested in the concept part of the design process, when there’s a goal but so many different ways to reach it and the idea can still take any shape or size. I also like that with design you can improve things: not just on the surface level, but making things easier, or the whole experience better. And of course, it’s also great to see the ideas become reality.
Reality: Senior Copywriter
I got into advertising out of curiosity and necessity. My husband and I moved to Germany, and I found myself unable to work in the film industry because I couldn’t speak a word of German. Bills don’t wait until you learn a language, so I started interning at a German ad agency for an international client. Later, I got a full-time job at another ad agency and have been working as a copywriter ever since. Most days it’s not all that bad, and I actually enjoy the work that I do.
The other days, I think about getting back into film. I studied film, and have always dreamt about directing my own films. Ones that I have written and developed, of course. I hope sometime in the not too distant future that you will find yourself watching one of my films in some artsy theater or a bootlegged version on your computer.
Reality: Account Manager
When it comes to my professional future, it’s hard to say where exactly I see myself. To give you an idea, when I was younger I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, philosopher, fashion or interior designer, liked marketing and ended up working in advertising. I guess what I’m more interested in is creativity and the fascinating power of synthesis, whether it’s a TV spot, a drawing or a simple sentence.
Dream: Creative Team Leader
In the long run, I would like to work on my own project in a small and familiar team. It could be opening an innovative concept store or promoting cultural events in my hometown. What matters to me is to have direct involvement and influence while having fun with something I’m passionate about.
When I started working in advertising after my studies to become a “Media Designer”, I didn’t really know how advertising worked. After my internship, I decided to pursue the life of an Art Director because it was creative and exciting to work with different people and collaborate with different creatives, such as photographers, film productions and studio operators. Now, I’ve been working as a Senior AD/Designer for ten years. My work enables me to be visually and conceptually creative. People in this field have progressive thinking and a youthful, fun approach to life which makes going to work feel like going to a playground, sometimes. And if you have the right client, you could even change the world by using the right communication strategies.
I like drawing. I’ve doodled since I was a child. And I’m now illustrating a lot. I could see my self as an illustrator someday.
Reality: Senior Copywriter
Like most Brazilians, I was always in love with advertising. It was always in the back of my head, since I was a kid. But as the years passed, I became very interested in fashion and history at the same time. I had outstanding grades in the subject and a love for reading and imagining how things really were in the past, including how people were dressed. Until the very last minute, I was in doubt of what to choose… and maybe it was the fact that it had been sold to me my whole life, but advertising won.
Dream: Costume Designer
Uniting the two passions and forgetting a bit about the advertising, I dreamed about becoming a costume designer. Today, I’m a copywriter, but not everything is lost: I kept my other passion as a true lover of Costume parties, Carnivals and Halloweens.
Reality: Account Manager
I was studying marketing, but was never sure if it was my path. In my last months of studies, I joined the student marketing association and started organizing lectures for other marketing studies. We also organized marketing trips to NYC and London to see how marketing agencies and marketing departments were working. The other students from the association were super passionate about marketing, so I realized that I am on the right path as well. What I love in marketing is you always need to find the best of something (product, situation) and present it in the right way. Life is always about showing different perspectives to people and so is marketing/advertising. That said, you do have to show a bright and shiny world … maybe a bit of illusion .. but we all need this to escape from our daily, stressful lives.
Dream: Working on the client side
I always wanted to work on the client side. I started my internship in digital marketing, so I continued in this field and I got an opportunity to work in advertising on the agency side. I do not regret that I went this way: it was an amazing 5 years. I especially love to work with creative people because this inspires me as well in my daily life: how you live, how you drink your coffee, how/where do you travel. It is all about a little bit of art.
What is coming next—who knows. All we have is now. (But actually, my first dream was to become a Fashion Designer.)