Careers in Advertising

Advertising professionals work closely with client marketers in all aspects – from formulating the communication strategy, to conceptualizing and creating communication, and executing them in different media.

Roles in the business side of advertising

Account Managers

They liaison between the client marketing department & the different departments within the advertising or media agency. They carry the overall responsibility of executing the advertising as per agreed schedules & budgets. The career track starts from Account Executive, and goes on to Account supervisors, Account Managers/ Directors.

Account Planners

They focus on understanding the consumers, the market, and the strategic problem or opportunity in front of the brand, so as to give the communication direction that the campaigns need to take. The career track starts from Account Planner, Senior Account Planner, to Strategic Planning Director.

Media Planners & Buyers

These professionals in the media agency find the best way that the ads can be placed in the different media, so as to get the most ‘bang’ for the client’s budgets. Accordingly, advertising space (in print & online media) & time (on TV & radio) get bought and the advertising campaigns get released. The roles in a media agency are typically called Media Planner, Media Buyer, Media Coordinators, etc.

Roles on the creative side

Art Directors

Art Directors are the people responsible for designing ads, websites, outdoor media and brochures for an advertising agency on behalf of its clients. They create and maintain the visual look for all the work on the brand, making sure the client's marketing materials look engaging and the selling message is clear. Although an art director has the word "art" in the title, drawing skills, while most welcome, are not mandatory. This is a job of creative thinking, and for executing the design, now-a-days, one needs to be skilled in using computers & software packages.


Pictures tell. Words sell. Words are as crucial to an advertising campaign as visuals. Copywriters have the ultimate responsibility for the advertisement's verbal or textual content to get the message across. Taking all the product information from the client, they are responsible for telling the story, crafting it in such a way that it resonates with the viewer/reader, ideally eliciting an emotional response. From writing the brand taglines, to the headlines & copy in print advertisements, scripts for TV ads, the jingle lyrics, web page content, down to the stuff that’s on the packaging – all required copywriting skills.

Find out more about the Creative Careers in Advertising.

It’s all about teamwork

In many instances, an ad agency will pair an art director with a copywriter, to work as a team on the brands & clients they are assigned to. Although, in many instances, either person may come up with the overall idea for the advertisement or commercial (typically referred to as the concept or "big idea"), and the process of collaboration often improves the work. Their combined output is the actual ad – and that needs to convey the brand’s benefit with the desired personality and attitude.

Career paths

Their career paths, inside an advertising agency, run pretty similar. As in, both look to become Creative Directors, who will have a team of copywriters & art directors under them. So, being able to learn & appreciate the nuances of both the ‘trades’ is critical, to grow through the ranks.

Find out about the Top 7 Creative Careers.

And with success, one’s portfolio grows. In terms of the size of the brands you get to handle, or the no. of clients you are responsible for. In most advertising agencies, the head of the creative department is usually called the National Creative Director (NCD). Lots of creative professionals even choose to become independent consultants, or start their own advertising agency!

Find out about what it is like to be Working in the Advertising Industry.

Entrance Exam


Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.