Copy Writer Career Information
What a Copy Writer does
As a copywriter in an ad agency you'll handle the copy aspect and do much of the conceptual thinking in press, television, outdoor, or any other form of advertising.
Along with the help of the visualiser and the creative/art director you'll create the advertisement as per the brief of the client servicing and research/planning department. You'll be an integral part of the creative planning process.
As a copywriter all you have to do is create effective and memorable ads, which can catch the fancy of the target customers and make them buy the products. Once you prove your abilities you can rise from being a Junior copywriter to a senior copywriter, Copy Chief/Creative Supervisor and finally to the top - Creative Director.
And if you get bored writing catchy lines you can move into film making, authoring books, ad film making, music videos, producing television software all of which pay are very well. If you want to be your own master you can start your own creative consultancy firm.
You have very few options to choose from:
• Advertising agencies
• Marketing departments of various large companies
• Creative Consultants
If it's your first job, then irrespective of your educational or other qualifications, you will have to go through a 'copy test'. Most agencies use this test to find out your abilities and interests once recruited. You'll have to work under tremendous pressure, often working for as much as 14 hours a day!
Another way to enter a good agency is to build a good portfolio, which will be a showcase of your creative abilities. You can also try reworking some ads that you have watched on TV or read in a newspaper. Just grab your portfolio, write a good resume and then approach agencies. It's as simple as that!
Do we really have to tell you about the prospects in this industry? You must have gauged it by just going through the number of ads appearing on television and newspapers. The need for trained people in the advertising industry is always on the rise. Don't take our word for it - just go through these facts:
• Companies in the IT and insurance are investing a lot of money on advertising. Not to mention the traditional spenders like the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods like soaps, detergents, salt, cooking oils, etc.) sector.
• We now have a new medium - Internet and it's fast growing popularity.
• The growth in the industry has pushed the need for manpower. The industry pundits are predicting a positive growth in the industry over the next 5 years.
• With the growth in digital medium like multimedia, which uses advanced technology to develop communication tools and materials, the demand for skilled professional is on the rise.
• Advertising professionals can also move into the marketing department of a corporate house in a mainstream industry. For instance, an Account Executive with 4-5 years of experience can work as a Brand Manager in a FMCG company.
Abilities & Traits Required
• Good (make that wild) imagination and ability to express it in an art form like writing poetry, writing stories, etc.
• Ability to visualise concepts, ideas etc.
• Ability to demonstrate concepts and ideas using the best possible words. You must be able to draw metaphors.
• Keen interest in various art forms like cinema, drama and music
• Interest in politics, religion, philosophy, history, sports, economics, Internet, culture and ethos, nature, human psychology, etc.
• Keep yourself in touch with the latest happenings in the world
• Good communication skills
• Good presentation skills - ability to present ideas and convince your client.
• Good observation skills
• Interest in human psychology - you should understand how one behaves in a given situation, how does one feel, how one is likely to behave.
Actually copywriting is a creative job and as such you don't need a degree or diploma to enter this field. Most people in the advertising fraternity will tell you that they don't have an educational background in advertising.
In fact people like Bharat Dhabolkar and Prahlad Kakkad never even planned a career in advertising - it just happened to them. The only qualification you need is creativity and no school will ever teach you that. Of course if you have that creative streak in you, they will polish it for you.
Various institutes offer graduate, postgraduate and diploma courses in advertising and Mass Communication. You can even opt for a course in creative writing.
Well, sky is the limit. But you have to start literally from scratch. Most agencies will pay you a paltry sum to begin with. In some agencies, it can be as low as Rs 10000 a month! Though the starting salary for a creative genius like you is low, take heart. If you prove yourself you can earn as much as Rs 50000 or more a month.