Common Misconceptions about Advertising

There are a lot of ideas people have about advertising and the creatives that make up an agency. Some of these may have merits, most of them are just plain silly. Whatever the case, here are some of the ones we hear the most.

Anybody can do it

You’re just picking a picture and sticking some text in there, right? Well… not really. See, advertising actually takes a lot of work, and designers commonly get burnt out. We’re constantly trying to find the best solutions to communication issues, checking and triple checking how the wording fits, whether or not the image speaks to us, and if it does what it is saying. We want to tell a story over the course of several ads, so that you get to put the pieces together and maybe even get a surprise when it’s done. We want to make sure the font choice and color palate work with the voice we’re using in the copy. And at the end of all that, we make it look easy, because of course this is how this was going to look. Once you see a finished ad, you know it couldn’t have been any other way. That’s when we get, “Oh I could have done that.” By the way, that kills our soul a little bit. Just FYI.

It doesn’t take that long, what are we paying you for?

Yeah… The breakthrough might not take that long, but advertising is about careful planning and research into the target audience and how they need to be spoken to. Before we even start designing, we have to know who we’re talking to, why they care about what we’re saying, and how they want to be communicated to. Sure, the actual design might happen in a flurry of paper and pencil, or tapping keys, but that’s only because of the fundamental and monumental amount of research that happens first.

It would just go faster if I call the art department

Really? Will it really? Or will it just make you feel better that you’ve confirmed that we’re not doodling on the walls with our shiny new crayons? Basically, if a client tries to call the art department directly, they’ll be met with the hisses and snarls of terrified creatures cornered by an overzealous housewife with a garden hose. Yes, it’s that bad. Get in touch with your account executive and explain your concerns. He knows where we are on all our projects, and also knows how to tap on the glass the right way so as not to startle us. This results in fewer interruptions for the art department, and less hurt feelings for the client. We promise.

Oh, you’re creative people, you must all be hipsters

Ok, for the record, just because someone figured out how to use filters on Instagram does not make them creative. Just because I use a Mac doesn’t mean I’m a hipster. I’m personally getting a little sick of washed out photography and pink and beige color palates. We’re creative, yes, and that covers a HUGE variety of likes and dislikes, from music, to clothes, to favorite colors and tv shows. Stop profiling us.

You know everything

Ok this one isn’t one I’ve ever heard, it just seems to be what people think. Obviously we know where that 30 second spot is that you want on your website. Obviously we know where to get your logo as we do a redesign of your site. Obviously we can just magically make your facebook page work when no one on your staff knows the login. Because we are experts in our field. When we start on a project, it really speeds up the process if we have all of the assets required to begin with. Sometimes a project grows and we agree to add something, and that’s fine, but you have to understand that we need the assets for that addition still. Otherwise, you get a very angry art department as we get halfway through and realize we have to contact the AE again for more stuff.


Now, you may be thinking that these ad people seem really angry. Well, too often we run into people that don’t value our time or what we do. Most of these misconceptions serve to really slow us down. Interrupting us, not giving us the tools we need to succeed, it slows down the entire process. That really frustrates creative people, because we suffer through the time and effort we put into our projects to be able to show off a final product we’re proud of. So, if you love us, set us free. I promise, it’ll only make the work we do for you epic.

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