Thursday, February 17, 2005
so, what do you do?
I've been meaning to write about my often misunderstood job description... or the entire industry I'm in for that matter. It just hasn't happened really in detail, except for rants here and there. I always get this "so, what do you do" comment a lot. Especially if I say that I'm in Accounts Management in an advertising agency. Okay, so what. The final trigger to this post-writing? A short anecdote by a co-worker (FL) and her copywriter boyfriend (G). FL meets up with her friend who is virtually unrelated and unaffected by the industry of advertising. So the friend, upon knowing that the couple both worked in an agency, asked what products they "make ads for" (ahem, the correct term is "handle" and they are called "accounts"). So they give a run-down of the accounts they handle. The friend gives them a furrowed-brow look and retorts - pare naman, ganon? kahit ako, kaya ko gawin yun eh. My thought balloon: Suntok sa buwan gusto mo?

Some people just don't know what we go through. It's not just drawing, shooting and airing. There are business objectives, consumer insights, strategies and clients you have to please (and present storyboards/scripts to sometimes at least three times). Oh and I couldn't forget Adboard. Mga hinayupak sila, as my big boss would describe them. Well, she says the same about everyone (again in her words) na pinadadaan tayo sa butas ng karayom. Advertising is just not creativity (or the lack of). It's not just an announcement. It needs to be relevant. It needs to touch and move your target market. It needs to satisfy a business goal. Of course this can all be thrown off by a stupid client or any other harmful element (parang germs).

So okay. In this whole scheme of things, I am the account manager. So then people ask me - so, you make the ad? Ummm... yeah. You think of the ad? Uhhh... actually creatives do that. So what do you do? I manage the account. Blank stare. At this point, I heave a deep sigh. It's a team effort, I explain. We make sure that everything's on track. We are the bridge between the client and the agency. Ah, they say, so you just tell the creatives what to do. Uh no. We think too. A lot of thinking involved. How's the business? Is this on-strategy? Will consumers relate to this? Will client be satisfied with this? What is the big idea? How do we expand this ad and make it timeless and brand-building? What is the current market scenario? What's competition doing? I have no idea how it would be actually, if account managers didn't exist. It's not that I'm putting my post on a pedestal. It's usually something we muse about too, when creatives think we don't do anything but follow them up or when clients think that the whole agency is at their beck and call. Sigh. At times I wonder if this job has turned me into a masochist.

Yah. That's it. What do I do? Professional masochist.
I think I've already written this term somewhere already. Oh well. No harm in repeating.
dezphaire strapped in @ 9:11 AM  


  • At 11:43 AM, Blogger mamajojogirl said…

    i get that a lot too when i say, "I'm an IT consultant" or more specificaly when I say, "I'm an SAP consultant".

    People who don't know what they're talking about should probably just shut up and not act as if they "know it all".

  • At 10:04 AM, Blogger drivebyshooter said…

    our course has obviously trained (or programmed?) us to be good AE's. Despite never having actually been in an agency, I knew what you were talking about. Heck, it never even occurred to me that your job would be misunderstood. Oh well...

  • At 10:12 AM, Blogger dezphaire said…

    jojo: if we ever see each other, you'd have to forgive my ingnorance if i clarify what exactly an IT consultant does :) hehe.

    elber: i didn't think it would be this difficult explaining the concept of an "AE" too. think now being in a different industry is like being in a different planet (or solar system even).

  • At 3:05 PM, Anonymous april said…

    parang producer trabaho mo :) na masochista. hehe

  • At 3:38 PM, Blogger dezphaire said…

    april: hey that's a useful one. i'm the producer even before the ad gets produced (or not). well, kinda. umm. basta yon.

  • At 1:28 AM, Blogger Sapphire Dreams said…

    Ugh! There are people who think they can easily handle accounts and conceptualize ads?!

    Well, yeah, I guess so.. If they like travelling to hell and having their brains fried!

  • At 12:39 PM, Blogger a m y said…

    Hi there, just surfed in! :)

    Formerly of the IT world [a consultant], but I didn't enjoy it so I'm giving the advertising industry a shot.

    I don't know what to expect just yet, but from what you posted - it sure sounds pretty scary! Haha.

    BTW, if you don't mind my asking, which ad agency dya work for?

  • At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


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  • At 1:19 PM, Blogger dezphaire said…

    amythyst: sorry to scare you! i mean well for the industry i work in, and it's actually hard for me to imagine myself anywhere else. you really can't choose the people you work with (or for), so you'd just have to strengthen your gut and live through it with your head up. good luck!

    i work for Ace Saatchi by the way.

  • At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hi dez! i wanted to correct my comment. i only meant to say that, yes, it's alright if you don't know what kind of work i do. but what i hate are people who pretend to know everything even if they don't. atribida ba! hehe.


  • At 10:15 AM, Blogger a m y said…

    Thanks, I'll need all the luck! I'm looking forward to my little "advertising adventure" that's coming up pretty soon. I wonder if advertising is the same the world over. Anyhow, pressure doesn't faze me.. as long it's nothing like that of the IT sort. Hehe.

    Oh, and Keanu rocks. ;)


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