Confessions of an ex ad woman

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Let me start by saying that, I am and I will always be an ad woman at heart. Although I’m no longer a part of this dynamic industry, I have realised that advertising has taught me some wonderful things both in life and in my professional life.

Advertising is like that teenage crush that you have. It seems so cool, so glamorous and you’re so sure that it is the one for you and you sneak out of your regular life and start seeing it every day. Your friends think that you’re living the good life because hey, you have that letterman jacket and get to ride around in the back of that cool motorcycle.

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But then you start to feel like the letterman jacket is somewhat too big for you, and the motorcycle isn’t as comfortable as you thought it would be. But you can’t seem to break up because you’d lose your ‘cool’ status among your friends. So you hold on.

And during that time you realise that although you love advertising. You’re better off loving it from a distance.  So you call it quits and spend some time trying to figure out ‘who you are’.  In my case, I quit advertising, did some volunteering work, travelled all over and then realised that my one true love is writing.

But if it weren’t for advertising, I wouldn’t have been ready to take the risks that I took in my life. I would have played it safe at a 9 to 5 job and I would have probably never travelled around or decided to pursue my master’s in another country.

I still meet people who claim to be ‘passionate’ about advertising and would love to get into the field. And I know for a fact that they’re seeing that teenage crush and going after that image they’ve built up in their heads. So I tell them that advertising isn’t for the faint of heart. There’s no mid-way in advertising, you either love it or you hate it. That’s where I went wrong I think. I thought I could be in ‘like’ with advertising. But if you plan to get into the field, you need to be all in. You need to eat, sleep and breathe advertising. You need to be able to fight some battles, you need to be able to get your hands dirty and most of all, you need to want to win those battles.

Unfortunately, advertising wasn’t for me. But it might be the right fit for someone else – Someone who can be in love with advertising and take all the hits and misses like a pro, someone who can handle the Jekyll and Hyde characteristics of advertising and yet love it with all their might.

Like I said at the beginning, I am an ad woman at heart. I will always love advertising and it will always have a special place in my heart. But sometimes, it’s better to love some things from a distance.


Author: Arathi Aravind

Writer, bibliophile and an avid traveller, Arathi currently freelances as a creative content writer and is based in Kerala, India.