By Victoria D’Andrea
This first SCAB has been a long time in the making.
I always overthink my work, especially my first submissions, making me write and rewrite, read and reread everything about a hundred times. I think this is the 10th SCAB I’ve written.
Hopefully, it’s the last first one I write. At this point, however, I am inclined to doubt it.
So, I decided to just start from the basics. Why do I want to do advertising?
I’ve asked myself this question many times over the years, no doubt largely prompted by my mother. She could not understand my desire to work in this industry, especially considering how close I came to driving her crazy during my teens, boycotting big brands like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and to a certain extent, Procter & Gamble. Need I mention, it made both our lives over-complicated.
After all those years of painstakingly complicated shopping trips and occasionally skipped meals due to erroneously bought P&G-owned meals, no wonder she was doubtful when I decided to abruptly go from studying languages to a university degree in marketing.
I had my own doubts on whether this was truly the right choice, and the doubts have only become louder as the years progressed. Thankfully, I’ve recently come to understand why I like this sort of job so much, no matter how much it contrasts with all my youthful beliefs.
Like many things, I didn’t learn it at university but during an internship. More specifically, I came to this conclusion at the internship I’m working at right now (and I mean that literally, as that is where I’m writing this specific sentence).
Presently, a lot of my work revolves around writing copy. Nothing special or extremely memorable; a lot of social media posts, white papers and other random bits and pieces that people skim through without really paying any attention to. I know most people would find this repetitive and possibly tedious, and don’t misunderstand me, it’s not the sort of writing I imagined myself doing when I started dreaming of being a copywriter, but surprisingly I’ve found to enjoy this line of work.
It has its cons of course. Mostly it revolves around not being able to write at home anymore (which is why I’m doing this at work). It sometimes feels like, after spending 8 hours everyday writing and thinking of ways of phrasing someone else’s words, I’ve emptied my brain completely – run out of words of my own to write.
But let’s not get carried away with that completely unoriginal and slightly depressing line of thought.
What I did notice, was that a relatively short amount of my time was actually dedicated to real writing. Yes, once I have an indication of the path I want to follow there are hours dedicated to writing down every single thing that comes to mind, fifty variations of the same idea or even sentence, until suddenly you are left with the one that jumps off the page.
But the majority of my time is passed scouring the Internet, researching the company, the product, the industry, the people, anything that is even slightly connected to the subject I’m writing about. Finding ideas, or even just writing copy (at least in my experience), is really all about fitting as much information as you can in your brain, processing it, and then start churning out.
I used to think there was nothing I preferred doing than writing. And I do still love it, but if there’s something I have found to enjoy even more, it is learning something new.
And that’s why I love this job. Every new client is a chance to get educated in something new. I’ve written about aviation safety, art-schools, coffee machines and architectural companies. Each time, I’ve had to immerse myself completely in a hitherto unknown industry. While I can’t claim to remember everything I read during those tasks, I feel I take something away with me each time.
Maybe it will never be useful, but I’m surprised by the number of times since then that I’ve discussed what one of my past offices called the drone crisis (and yes, that was the most exciting thing to happen while working for that particular company).
That is why I am excited to come to SCA – it’s a whole new year of pure learning.
Maybe I will even learn a new favourite thing about advertising.