TMRW SG | Blog | Why I Got Into Advertising


I’m kidding … I’M KIDDING! Despite the long working hours and loooong working hours, there are good reasons (some neutral) for working in the ad industry.

These are mine.

From the words of a padawan copywriter who may or may not have been nudged to write this.

Short Attention Span

Before advertising, I was carving a name for myself in editorials, which I lowkey dreaded. I couldn’t sit through writing paragraph after paragraph without having to KitKat every few minutes. (I’ve already had two breaks since writing this article and I’m barely 100 words in.)

Then came the job offer of copywriting. You’re telling me I get paid for writing 8 words? I’m there.

Love For Storytelling

Don’t get me wrong, advertising requires a lot of attention, but it’s focussed on creating stories, which is really fun. Pursuing insights. Giving birth to that big idea. Crafting that killer line. Pulling these back-to-back? It’s perfect for short attention spans (disclaimer: short (focussed) attention span).

Seeing my ideas come alive will go down as one of the most rewarding feelings in my work experience. This is especially so in this current time, where I’m fortunate enough to see it manifest across countless platforms. It’s just incredible.

Glamorous Lifestyle

And like every other teenager who studied advertising, I, too, was sold on the narrative in school that it’s THE coolest place to work in. It’s the place where people with goatees drink booze and dream for a living. Parties, food, alcohol. Repeat. What a life, huh?

Consciously, or subconsciously, I’ll admit that “glamour” did influence my decision to join the industry. In my defence, I was only 18 when my lecturer brought me to the enchanting Leo Burnett Chicago office for a quick tour.

But anyone in the industry reading this – probably chuckling out loud – knows, it’s not true. Well, not entirely anyway. It’s all there, but with lots of work thrown in. LOTS.

Major Accounts

Lucky for me, I was offered the role of Copywriter on a major account: BMW. Equally excited as I was nervous, I accepted. I’d be an idiot to say no, I mean, it’s BMW! One of the most admired brands of all time and I, this fresh graduate, get to tell people just how iconic it is.

Like most fresh graduates, I got off to a rocky start. My struggles were keeping my writing succinct and of course free from, the biggest pain in the a**, typos. But these were quickly ironed out with the help of my fabulous, lovely, and amazing seniors – I wasn’t forced to write this, promise – who patiently guided me through every stage.

Fast forward and here I am. A year and a half into my role and writing this with no regrets, but gratitude.

P.S. My bank account also got substantially larger so yay!

Kanesh Pillai